A White Study: Portrait
My good friend and former student (Long Beach High School Class of ’67), Jeffrey Felner, posts #wakinguptofashion every day on FaceBook and Instragram, featuring fantastic fashion photographers of the past and today. Last fall, I took a screen shot of one of his postings—a beautiful, young model who was swathed in white tulle from her hat to her toes. I filed it away and came across it last week, when I was looking for something new to paint. The whiteness of her made me think of one of the earliest painting assignments presented to students at the Acorn School of Art: the white study, an exercise that teaches just how much color there is in a painting of white objects. I thought it might be fun to try a portrait in white, having just watched Debra Highberger’s portrait painting lesson on YouTube through acornartschool.com. I got to give myself the challenge of painting a portrait, painting a white study and painting the transparency of tulle…all in one. Having just finished two very large paintings, I decided to change the pace by painting a couple of small canvases. I painted JJ the Beast and A White Study: Portrait alternately, because one canvas could sit out on my patio to dry for a day or two while I painted the other.
JJ the Beast
I’ve been painting for twenty-one years but still love to take a painting class. There’s always something to be learned, and it’s always a good idea to have other eyes see your work. Lucky for me, my friend and mentor, Debra Highberger, is teaching online on YouTube through http://www.acornartschool.com during the pandemic. I watched her lesson on painting a white kitten and was inspired to paint JJ the Beast, our beautiful white lab granddog. JJ is a sweet and handsome devil and, like many pets, has been a particular comfort to my daughter and her family in these trying times I get to see JJ on FaceTime and in photos and videos my granddaughters send of him doing things like sitting down and shaking hands. Can’t wait to see him in person again…
Looking for Love
I continue to enter juried art exhibitions, whenever I think my paintings are a good fit for a particular competition, since there’s no better way to be taken seriously as an artist than by getting a third party endorsement of your work. Family and friends may offer praise out of love, but the judgment of someone who doesn’t know you and does know art carries a lot more weight.
Since figurative is where I live, this one was a no brainer. I entered five paintings in the Figurative 2018 Art Exhibition, and, of those, Looking for Love was awarded Special Merit and Rising received Special Recognition and can be viewed on the Light Space & Time Gallery website. If you have the interest and/or patience to view the YouTube video of the Special Merit winners, you can see what good company I’m in.
I’ve exhibited my paintings at the BallenIsles Art Expo every year I’ve lived there, but this is the first time I’ve been interviewed about my work.