Saturday, March 25, 2017

"Detail from Sargent's Mrs George Swinton" (oil on stretched canvas; 16" x 12")

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The painting is the copy of a detail from "Mrs George Swinton" (1897) by the master portraitist John Singer Sargent. The original hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago.

Mrs. George Swinton epitomizes the painterly virtuosity that made John Singer Sargent one of the most favored portraitists of fashionable Europeans and Americans in the late 19th century. Extravagant color and brushwork were central to Sargent's success, as was his ability to present an image of his sitter that adhered to social standards.

In Elizabeth Swinton's case, he accentuated her regal bearing and feminine satin dress. She was also known for her musical talents; at the time her portrait was executed, she was recognized as an amateur singer and later began performing professionally. Swinton's pose indicates both the poise of a performer and the countenance of a fashionable socialite.

As it happens, Sargent is one of my favorite artists. When Danni Dawson gave her portrait painting class an assignment to copy a portion of his portrait with the emphasis on how he handled satin fabrics, I picked this painting. Look at Mrs Swinton's gorgeous dress and the arm chair her right hand holds on to so elegantly!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

"Hearts and Roses" (oil on stretched linen; 10" x 10")

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How would you like to receive from your sweetheart a heart-shaped chocolate cake frosted with three colors of rosy swirls of icing on a golden plate? That is what happened to me on my birthday in February. Aren't I lucky? I would like to add that eating the cake was A LOT EASIER than painting it!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sunday, February 19, 2017

"Penny" (oil on linen; 8" x 10") sold


"Penny" is for Samantha, who commissioned the portrait for her friend as a surprise gift. Her aging cat loves being in the sun, so Samantha thought a portrait of the cat lying in the sun would be particularly fitting. I chose such a reference photo, but curled the tail so that it would fit in the picture and, at the same time, wouldn't lead the viewer's eye out of it. I love the way light plays on the plush leather seat on which Penny is lounging!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

"Irish Lass" (oil on stretched canvas; 12" x 9")

Sarah with a resolute expression is of Irish descent. Can't you tell by her fair complextion, reddish brown hair, and green jacket? I had fun painting her in one-week session in Danni Dawson's portrait painting class at the Art League School in Alexandria, VA.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

"Hannah and Jackson" (oil on stretched linen; 24" x 30") sold


The mother of two gorgeous kids found my portraiture on the internet and commissioned me to paint a large double portrait to hang over her mantle. I felt honored and worked on the painting for a couple of months to get it just right. She seems pleased and so am I!

Friday, February 10, 2017

"Iris Season at Monet's Garden" (oil on stretched canvas; 11" x 14")

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Walk around the front garden with the Grande Allee at Giverny, France. The impressionist master Claude Monet designed and cultivated his garden with a great passion for decades toward the end of his long productive life. It is a slice of heaven on earth. My favorite time is when the irises are in full bloom. I can almost smell the heady perfume of these gorgeous flowers!