Seize the Day…Rose
Once again I’ve been inspired by the work of photographer Whitney Brown, who often photographs dancers and uses all sorts of techniques like image on image or double and triple exposures to make me want to crop and flip and paint her subjects in my own fashion.
Seize the Day…Violet
Our niece, Robin Sokoloff, owns and runs a fabulous event space in Tribeca called Town Stages—a women-centric business with an emphasis on the arts and diversity and acceptance. The first time I was there, as we sat in the cocktail bar, I knew I wanted to paint something for her to hang on those black walls that at that moment displayed some graphic images supplied by a sponsor of an upcoming event. It’s taken me some time, but I’ve finally finished a diptych for her, called Seize the Day, that I think will suit. I used paints that have women’s names and meaning for me…Rose was my grandmother and Violet is another niece’s new baby girl…and tried to capture the sense of strength and aspiration that has taken Robin from her small Loft 227 in Chelsea to this amazing 10,000 square foot space that provides a venue for theater, concerts, lectures, promotions, parties and more. Robin has surely seized the day.
With Flame, I have completed my tenth painting using the painterly photography of Whitney Browne as reference (www.whitneybrowne.com). In her series, Dance for the Photographic Eye, I came across a portrait of a dancer, Raul Acanda, and knew I wanted to paint him. I did what I do: chose a big canvas, cropped the image, focused on his upper body and aspirational pose and called the painting Reach. I spent the summer on another couple of paintings but kept being drawn back to Whitney’s photograph, so I decided to use Raul as a model again to paint the source of his strength…his fulcrum…his lower body. The two paintings will be hung together side by side.
Until I started the painting, I didn’t realize how blatantly sexual it would be. The very size of the 40” X 40” canvas puts the image in your face. Titles suggested by some of my paint people and my husband included The Package and Red Hot, while a more esoteric friend thought Golden Ratio would work. I settled on Flame for a few reasons: he is red hot, like a flame; a flame is a source of heat; a small flame can set a big fire. Once again, people who passed by the studio and saw me painting him had their own commentary, usually accompanied by snickering. Quite a physical specimen, Raul…you should probably be the one snickering.