Sunday, January 31, 2016

"Riverbend Bluebells" (oil on stretched canvas; 16" x 20")


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There is a place in Great Falls,VA, called Riverbend Park.  It is a pretty park where kids go for school outings to see American-Indian artifacts and practice archery.  When Virginia bluebells are in season in the spring, it turns into an enchanted forest by the river.  Imagine acres and acres of delicate blue flowers on long stems catching light or in deep shadows.  I tried to capture that sense of joy and wonder in my dotted painting.

Friday, January 29, 2016

"Painterly Selfie" (oil on stretched canvas; 12" x 9") nfs


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Last October, shortly before my fall that broke my nose and right cheekbone, I took a selfie with my phone.  Selfies are all the rage these days, but I had a particular purpose for this rather self-absorbed activity.  Danni Dawson, my portrait painting teacher, had given her class a self-portrait assignment.  I started the painting right away, but it was never finished because of the never-ending doctors' appointments and, more importantly, the fatigue.

As soon as I felt better early this year, I began to complete the unfinished paintings from the last year.  This self-portrait is the last one of the project.  It looks slightly different from the reference photo.  It is, however, definitely me, one of many expressions I wear, a more thoughtful and sagacious one at that.  It is poignant, as the left side without a blemish in the portrait is the damaged side, now with a scar.  I miss this face and the state of mind without the concern for my heart.  We can't ever go back, can we?


"Troy" (oil on stretched canvas; 10" x 8")


"Troy"

After Week I

After the school closing due to the blizzard that dumped over 2 feet of snow in the Washington metropolitan area, Danni Dawson's portrait painting class was back in session yesterday.  I was happy to be able to capture finally the likeness of the African-American model.  Aren't you impressed with all the colors I found in his expressive face?  That's what Danni emphasizes--put more colors!


Monday, January 25, 2016

"Melodious" (oil on linen; 9" x 12") nfs


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This portrait of my daughter practicing the flute started out as a black-and-white exercise for Danni Dawson's portrait painting class.  I decided to turn it into a regular portrait in color.  It is a small painting for a half-length portrait with a musical instrument and all!  By the way, she was playing C. Chaminade's "Concertino"--a romantic, dramatic, and difficult piece.  She is enraptured in the beauty of the music!


"Flute Practice"

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

"Handsome Zebra" (oil on stretched canvas; 18" x 18")


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The zebra is my favorite animal.  I have never seen an ugly zebra!  While I was painting the portrait of this handsome zebra, I was puzzled: Is the zebra a stocky white horse with black (or brown) stripes, or a black one with white stripes?  What do you say?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

"Daffodils and Hyacinth" (watercolor; 10" x 7")


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We have many different kinds of daffodils that flower non-stop in the spring for almost two months as some are early bloomers and others, late ones.  In the painting, you can three varieties of daffodils.  For the darker, complimentary contrast, I stuck a stem of purple hyacinth in their midst.  Voila, a beautiful arrangement!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

"Hyacinth and Forsythia" (watercolor; 10" x 7")


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I found a pile of photos of spring flowers I took last spring during the cleanup of my studio.  Although this winter hasn't been severe, images of spring flowers basking in the sun are always a cheerful sight.  In particular, I liked this one of pink and purple hyacinths and a couple of forsythia sprigs.  The small bouquet makes a pastel, yet primary, harmony.  Lovely, isn't it?

Saturday, January 9, 2016

"Jefferson Memorial Cherry Blossom Sunset" (oil on linen; 10" x 12")


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Jefferson Memorial, dedicated to an extraordinary man, is my favorite memorial in the city of memorials--Washington, DC.  I have painted it many times, often set at cherry blossom season, like this new one.  Below is the sketch done in chalk pastel pencil on toned scrapbooking paper that I drew while watching TV in the evening.  I liked it so much that I decided to do an oil version in pointillist style.


"Jefferson Memorial Sunset" (chalk pastel pencil on toned paper, 8" x 8")


Friday, January 8, 2016

"Foxgloves" (watercolor; 6" x 4")


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"Foxgloves" is another "sketch" that turned out well.  I started out by drawing the florets with aquarelle pencils, then applied watercolor paints.  If there are any errant lines, I just brush over them with clear water, which blurs and softens them.  I am in love with the method which allows me to draw and paint small watercolors loosely without pressure to produce.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

"Peter" (oil on stretched canvas; 9" x 12") nfs


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During the campus visit to the University of Minnesota, the alma mater of both of us, last summer, I caught my dear husband at a pensive moment.  I don't know what he is thinking.  He looks melancholy.  Perhaps he is a little sad at the prospect of his baby growing and leaving her nest.  The University of Minnesota is our daughter's first choice; I am happy to report that she is already accepted. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

"Snowdrops" (watercolor and aquarelle pencil; 7" x 5")


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Pure white snowdrops blooming in a forlorn winter garden mean only one thing--spring is just around the corner.  No, they are not yet flowering in my garden, but one can still dream about them!

Friday, January 1, 2016

"Scarlet Heaven" (oil on stretched canvas; 24" x 18")


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I started "Scarlet Heaven" before my medical crises in late October and have been working on it on and off.  Happily, it is finally finished!  Can you believe I saw this incredible field of scarlet poppies, stretching for miles, in an island off southeast Sweden?  It was one of the happiest days of my life.  I hope there will be in 2016 many happy days like the day on which I walked with my daughter in the poppy fields in the Swedish sun.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!