“Right and Left” after Winslow Homer

Final Copy Final Copy
Final Copy

I completed the copy of Winslow Homer in mid-December and delivered it to the client on December 22nd.  Right and Left” was the first Homer I’ve copied and although it is not typically what I would choose to paint, I found that copying this painting made me very much admire Winslow Homer’s work. It was very educational.

The painting depicts two ducks in flight attempting to avoid a hunters bullets.  The one on the left although possibly injured continues its escape while the one on the right falls victim to the hunter. It is almost monochromatic with many shades of gray.  The more I looked at it, the more colors I saw.  The many degrees of value required much concentration.  Homer used some very strong tints of greens mixed into the black feathers of the birds and it required strict observation to see it.

I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to duplicate this magnificent piece of artwork for a client who wanted to surprise her husband with it as a Christmas gift .  She told me it is his favorite painting and she also told me he is very happy with the results….I love what I do!

Scenes of Frederick Ornaments 2015 — Right and Left by Winslow Homer

Holiday Ornaments
Holiday Ornaments

image

Two years ago I began painting scenes of Frederick and other significant memorabilia on holiday ornaments.  These ornaments have been very well received by the public and have become a valuable imagepiece of one-of-a-kind artwork for many collectors.  This year I’ve added additional scenes and have created some commission pieces of homes and pets.

The ornaments of Frederick landmarks as well as blank note cards of winter scenes in Frederick are available for sale at The Candy Kitchen, 52 N. Market St., Frederick, MD  21701 (301) 698-0442, and at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, 40 S. Carroll St. Frederick, MD 21701 (301) 698-0656.  For special orders and commissions, please contact me through the SALES AND COMMISSIONS form on this web-site.

 

Right and Left – Winslow Homer Original and copy in progress

Right and Left, a 1909 painting by American artist Winslow Homer, is the copy I’m currently producing at the National Gallery of Art. It’s quite a change from the Impressionist gallery where I painted for the past three years. It is a substantially different style. Also, I am physically located in a different gallery within the museum, one in which quietness and tranquility rule so I can concentrate with fewer distractions although I miss the hustle and bustle of the Impressionist galleries.

Homer painted  Right and Left a year before his death and is a culminating achievement of an extraordinary career.  The title, provided by a viewer during the works first public showing, refers to the act of shooting the ducks successively with separate barrels of a shotgun.  Scholars have suggested that the diving posture of the duck on the right indicates it is the one which has been hit by the hunter’s initial blast.  Its mate is attempting to escape the second shot which has just been fired, the flash of the shotgun barely visible within the gray smoke at the middle left.

This painting makes you want to stare at it and wonder what thoughts were on Homer’s mind as he worked.  Perhaps he wanted to convey an ambiguous message deliberately, in order to illustrate that crucial moment of transition between life and death.  Not ever being interested in hunting, I find this painting a bit sad but it is magnificently painted and although void of the brilliant colors of the Impressionist, it is filled with beautiful paint strokes and emotion.

I will be at the National Gallery of Art, gallery #68, working on this piece every Tuesday until mid December when I expect to complete my copy of Right and Left.

New Exhibition at Art At The Mill

Turnips
Turnips

The Art At The Mill exhibit in Millwood, Virginia is one of the most recognized and prestigious art shows in the Washington, DC area.  Artists from all over America compete for this juried show.  This year, Art At The Mill is celebrating its 25th season of exhibitions that bring artists together and promote the region’s extraordinary talent.  Today I am proud to announce that Art At The Mill has chosen me to participate in this year’s exhibition with five pieces of artwork juried into the show.

Peonies in Vase
Peonies in Vase

The drive to Millwood is a beautiful drive peppered with horse farms and wineries along the way.  The Mill is an amazing relic from the 18th century.  After viewing the beautiful artwork, make your way across the street to have lunch at the Locke Modern Country store or have a picnic in the meadow.

Art At The Mill is located at the Burwell-Morgan Mill, 15 Tannery Lane, Millwood, Virginia.  The show runs from October 3-18th, Mon-Thurs 12-5, Fri & Sat 10-5, Sun 12-5, with an artist reception on Sunday, October18th, 2-5 pm.  Admission prices are as follows: Adults $5, Seniors $3, kids 12 & under free.  For more information visit www.clarkehistory.org/art-at-the-mill.html.

The Artist’s Garden at Vetheuil – Claude Monet

Artist Garden at Vetheuil - Original and Copy
The Artist’s Garden at Vetheuil – Original and Copy

The latest project and the largest copy I’ve attempted is Claude Monet’s “The Artist’s Garden at Vetheuil.”  This very popular painting seems to hang in every young girls bedroom, according to the buzz of the visitors at the National Gallery of Art.  I remember when my daughter went off to college she decorated her bedroom with Monet posters.  The attraction of Monet’s art seems to be the varied palette he used to describe light and shadows and its effect on objects.  Everyone loves Monet!

Monet planted gardens wherever he lived.  He described objects with the colors that surrounded and were reflected from an object but by the time he created this painting in 1880, the painted surface was more important than capturing a spontaneous effect of light and atmosphere.

This painting shows his young son with his toy wagon very spontaneously described as are other members of his family on the steps leading to the house.  Monet could create a 60″x 48″ painting in just a few hours in order to capture the days long shadows often leaving the viewer wondering what the object actually is or is that really a person on the steps that lead to the house?

My copy is not yet complete.  I am still working on details and color adjustment so I plan to be in Gallery 85 for a few more Tuesdays.  Stop by and say hello.

New Works

Strawberries
Strawberries

Spring term classes are over at the Art League School in Alexandria thereby allowing me to focus my energy on creating new works for exhibitions.  Not having to work on assignments for my portrait and figure class will give me time to be more creative and experiment with different media, perhaps trying my hand at some abstract and impressionistic work.  Copying the Impressionists at the National Gallery of Art has inspired me to move away from the classics to a looser format, at least for a little while.  I’d like to do a series of paintings perhaps with just a palette knife and see where I can go with a thicker, imposto style. The excitement of being an artist or painter is the ability to have the freedom to express what you see in any form that comes to mind.  It can be in the style of Monet, Van Gogh, Rembrandt or Vermeer.  I guess you can say I have not found my personal style yet.  Galleries look for a cohesive collection of work before they will consider giving an artist a solo show.  For me, that will have to come later.  I am satisfied exhibiting on a smaller scale.  Right now I plan to have fun doing whatever comes to mind, an advantage when it comes to commission work as I feel confident I can do whatever the client desires. The above paintings were painted from life.  Lucky for me the beets stayed fresh long enough to complete the painting.  By the way, they tasted delicious after I roasted them.  The strawberries had to be painted quicker, almost “alla prima”.  I backlit the setup in order to create a glow coming from behind and may try doing a series in this manner with different fruit. I promise to keep you posted on new creations.

Cherry Blossoms Alla Prima

Cherry Blossoms

Fun day painting the Cherry Blossoms at Tidal Basin in D.C. today “alla prima” .  Blossoms were past their peak but the crowds were down and the weather was perfect. A little more sun would have been nice to make the painting brighter but the temperature could not have more pleasant and best of all, no bugs (at least not yet).

Silverliners Visit the NGA

On Tuesday, March 10, fifteen of my friends from the Silverliners visited me at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.  It was a very exciting day that began with Docent Bela Demeter treating us to a private tour of the museum with his delightful sense of humor . After the tour, Bela brought the group to the Impressionist Gallery where I am currently copying Oarsmen at Chatou by Auguste Renoir. We were all then escorted to the top floor of the East Wing for a lovely lunch at the museum’s VIP Restaurant.

Silverliners International is a group of former flight attendants from Eastern Airlines (one of the carriers from the “golden age” of air travel). It’s a fun-loving alumni group that also supports several charities, including Paul Newman’s The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. As a former Eastern Airlines flight attendant (1960’s), Eastern is very close to my heart and I’m proud to be part of this group.

Tuesday was a wonderful day. A special thank you to Bela Demeter for organizing a magnificent tour and lunch. Viva Bela!

Oarsmen at Chatou after Pierre-August Renoir

I’m still working on Oarsmen at Chatou after Pierre-Auguste Renoir.  It is a delightful painting with much detail and many intriguing brush strokes that are very time consuming to create but very enlightening.  I hope to complete this work by Tuesday, March 10 at which time I will be pondering my next copy.

For the next three weeks, I will be making my trip to the National Gallery and Washington, D.C. on Fridays, due to a change of schedule by officials at the NGA.  Unless that changes, I expect to be back to my regular Tuesday copying on March 10.   Stop by to see the El Greco exhibit before it leaves.  Get there soon as the last day will be February 15!  Piero di Cosimo: The Poetry of Painting in Renaissance Florence will be up until May 2 and worth the trip.  The colors are glorious.

Stop by the Impressionist Gallery #85 and look for me on Fridays.