I recently received a set of photographs of a beautiful 5 year old girl whose father, Bill Gekas, is a very talented Austalian photographer. Mr. Gekas created a series of photographs of his daughter dressed in the clothing and settings of Renaissance Dutch, Flemish, and Italian masters. I was so fascinated by the concept, the beauty of the child, and the quality of the photographs that I asked Mr. Gekas for his permission to use them to create a series of oil portraits. Girl with a Straw Hat is the first in the series. The purpose for creating these portraits is to practice and perfect my skills as a portrait artist and to further develop my ability to paint from photographs. They will not be commercialized. They may be shown but not sold. I hope the viewer enjoys them as much as I have.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014, was the fifth day of copying Woman with a Parasol – Madame Monet and Her Son. I love the atmosphere in the Impressionist Galleries. Everyone has been searching for spring this year and we just haven’t been able to find it. However, in the Impressionist Galleries, it’s always spring and I love being there! Visitors are happy and the mood is grand. I can feel electricity in the air when folks enter the galleries to view the magnificent works of Monet, Renior, Cezanne, VanGogh, Picasso, etc. Color explodes inside these rooms and I enjoy every minute I’m there. This is my second copy of Woman with a Parasol. It was so much fun copying it the first time that I decided to produce a second copy, and try to make it even more perfect. But mostly I am simply excited at being in that room.
Monet favored painting landscapes – a subject that was attuned to outdoor painting. Impressionism evolved in the late 1860’s from a desire to create full-scale, multi-figure depictions of ordinary people in casual outdoor situations. It is believed that Claude Monet painted Woman with a Parasol in just 4 hours, very spontaneously as is evident particularly in the clouds and conveyed by a repertory of animated brushstrokes of vibrant color. Bright sunlight shines from behind Madame Monet making her appear in silhouette while color reflections from the wildflowers below touch her front with yellow.
This is the perfect time to visit the National Gallery of Art. The cherry blossoms will be in full bloom within days and spring has decided to finally pay us a visit bringing an abundance of color inside and out. I’m in gallery 85 every Tuesday. Come by and say hello!