It seems as if the holidays began in October. I’m not the only one thinking this way; others have expressed the same feeling. This past Tuesday it felt strange not to be at the National Gallery of Art working on my copy of Vincent van Gogh’s “Roses.” It was grandparents day at our granddaughter Caroline’s school, a yearly event we attend with joy and pride. I’ll be back at the NGA next Tuesday and expect to be closer to completion of my copy.
This year I decided to create holiday ornaments depicting scenes of Frederick, Maryland. Each ornament is hand painted in acrylic and shows a popular landmark around downtown. The scenes are painted on glass ornaments from photographs I’ve taken and been collecting throughout the years. Someone asked me to do a portrait of their home on an ornament so I thought painting Frederick scenes would be a fun project. I’m going to try to paint a small facial portrait on one. That will be a challenge! Although, last year for a class assignment, our teacher asked us to paint a portrait the size of a quarter. I didn’t think it was possible but I managed to pull it off. We’ll see what happens.
The Frederick ornaments may be seen in the gift shop of The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, 40 South Carroll St., Frederick, MD (301)698-0656.
I wish all of my friends, family and followers a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.
These images are of cards from past years and are available for purchase at “The Candy Kitchen” 52 N. Market St. Frederick, Maryland, and at the “Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center” 40 S. Carroll St. Frederick, MD beginning in October. They may also be special ordered through this web-site. See HOW TO PURCHASE/COMMISSIONS.
On May 21, I began work on “Pont Neuf, Paris” by Auguste Renoir. This may be the most challenging of my work at the NGA. The enormity of the details, particularly the many windows in a city architectural scene, can be a tedious task as I’m sure it must have been for Renoir. Most apparent here and the focal point of this painting is Renoir’s transcription of the effects of sunlight. The midday sun suffuses the panorama, its intensity heightening the artist’s palette and suppressing incidental detail to clarify the crowded scene. Renoir pre-sketched the architecture before setting out to paint the remainder of the scene. I began my copy in the same manner.
Edmond Renoir, the artist’s younger brother and a novice journalist in 1872, later told how Renoir secured an owner’s permission to occupy an upper floor of a cafe for one day to depict the view of the famous bridge. Edmond periodically delayed passersby long enough for the artist to record their appearance in the painting. Renoir even noted Edmond’s presence in two locations, walking stick in hand and straw hat on his head. Renoir wanted to show the energetic crowd walking across the sun-drenched pavement and going about their daily routine on this clear sunny day. He depicted vendors pushing carts carrying goods across the bridge, children at play, dogs chasing children, and the hustle and bustle of daily life. Does it make you wonder what is on the other side of the bridge?
I am at the NGA, Washington D.C. every Tuesday, (gallery 89 until the completion of this painting). Stop by and say hello.