Saturday, September 22, 2012


This is a gorgeous pose by one of my favorite models.  The photograph from which it was drawn was taken in front of a window that was covered with a white sheet to create rich, diffused light.  It's a technique I really, really like, as it creates rich, clear lines and sharp shadows.
The challenge is in the painting.  How do you render those sharp, dark images that fade into white?  

Here I've chosen to go with lavender with orange skin tones.  I like it mostly.  The hips and belly knock me out.  I've rendered her (gorgeous) face pretty faithfully.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Other New Work

Portraits and figures.  I have so little time for painting these days, and when I do paint, it's portraits and figures that interest me.  I am not uninterested in painting clouds, oranges, mountains, cookies, etc.  But I am entranced still by the process of painting people.


A Trio

Here are three paintings I would love to hang on the wall together.  A sad fact for figure artists is that you can't just willy nilly throw figure studies up on the wall and call it a day.  People wonder what you're up to.

Friday, September 14, 2012

I'm a writer who doesn't write

I have lost my faith in words.

I blame politics.  Political discourse in this country is just so ugly right now, from all sides (but especially from the newly insane conservative side) that I find myself simply wanting to give up on words entirely.  Did you know that "belief" in climate change is currently in the mid-forty percents?  A few years ago nearly everyone "believed" in it.  (What a rotten word, Belief.  The common parlance is that we all have the right to believe what we want to believe.  Excuse me, but no we don't.  I do not have any right whatsoever to believe that lead can be turned into gold unless I have done the research to prove it.).  Flail away at people with words long enough, whatever the words, and you turn opinions, win belief, hornswoggle people.  Socrates was right: generally words suck.

But I am a writer, or at least have been a writer and wish somewhere in my heart to keep being a writer.  I let myself sculpt form with paint--somehow that seems pure and clean.  I no longer let myself sculpt form with words much (hence the paucity of entries in the past year).

I know the joy and the power of using words to make art.  I have written two novels, juvenile fiction, during two National Novel Writing Months (and I loved doing that and still like the books).  I have written poems that left me shaking, so deeply did those acts of sculpting form with words cut to the heart of my life.  I have written a phd dissertation, an academic book (unpublished and probably unpublishable), a number of pieces for scholarly publication, lots of essays to be read at scholarly meetings, lots of papers for classes, about ten thousand single-spaced pages (I totted up an estimation recently) of commentary on student papers, bajillions of journal entries, quadra-bajillions of emails, lots of old-fashioned letters, and even a few text messages.  But I seldom any more grant myself the grace and permission to use writing an an art form for myself, for my own learning, growing, and expressing.

This will be a painting-free post.

I am nearly fifty.  It is time for a change.  I think part of the change is back to where I started from, which was a love of words as form, shape, and sound.  I deserve to have words back in my life.