"Engagement" was commissioned by Sean for his fiancee. They are getting married next week and the portrait is going to be offered to his bride as the surprise gift on the day after the big day. How cool is that! I got the commission three weeks ago; it was a rush job to get it done in two weeks. From start to finish, Sean was the ideal client; I bet he will be the ideal husband too!
The English ivies in the background were in the reference photo and Sean asked me to include them for their symbolism of faith, fidelity, and longevity. I noticed two vague birch trees in the far right corner, which I thought echoed the subjects, so I suggested them. All in all, I am pleased with how the portrait turned out. My hearty congratulations to the couple!
To shake things up a bit, this spring I am taking an abstract painting class with Deanna Schwartzberg at the Art League School in Alexandria, VA. Creativity and play are the key to the class. I am having so much fun!
During the second class, I painted "Koi and Parrot". Koi and a parrot? Why not? Believe it or not, at the beginning I had a musical theme in mind with a drum, violin, and flutes! Somehow koi shapes began to emerge. Someone found the parrot during the critique session and it became my favorite part of the whole colorful painting. I love the
stare of the parrot and the swimming movement of the koi!
Venice is beautiful wherever you look. One of my favorite places in this
serenely beautiful city is the Scuola Grande di San Marco. It
originally was the home to one of the six major sodalities or Scuole
Grandi of Venice. It faces the Campo San Giovanni e Paolo, one of the
largest squares in the city. Of course, the square is always packed with people, whom I made disappear magically!
The edifice was built by the
Confraternity of San Marco in 1260 to act as its seat. In 1485, however,
it was destroyed by a large fire, and rebuilt in the following twenty
years. The façade is a masterwork of delicately decorated niches and
pilasters and white or polychrome marble statues. It is now a civic
The painting is the copy of a detail from "Girl Reading a Letter at an
Open Window" (c 1657–59) by Dutch Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer.
The well-preserved painting is on display at the Gemäldegalerie in
Dresden. For many years, the attribution of the painting was lost, with
first Rembrandt and then Pieter de Hooch being credited for the work
before it was properly identified in 1880. After World War II, the
painting was briefly in possession of the Soviet Union.
A pretty intimidating painting to copy, don't you think? Look at the girl's ringlets, intricate dress, and her reflection on the window panes. I am learning much through these copying efforts.