Tuesday, March 22, 2016

"Abraham Lincoln Statue" (oil on linen; 8" x 8") sold


The marble statue of President Abraham Lincoln inside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC is always an awe-inspiring sight. I am wondering whether I should have made the head a little bigger.  What do you think?

Monday, March 21, 2016

"Lincoln Memorial Nocturne" (oil on linen; 6" x 8") sold


I have painted the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC many times, usually against the deep blue night sky, because the marble Doric-temple of the memorial then glows like a gem.  I, however, never painted it as small as this--only 6" x 8"!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

"Washington Monument Cherry Blossoms" (oil on linen; 8" x 10") sold


On a lucky day, one can see the sky like this at the Tidal Basin during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The Washington Monument stands tall and beautiful against the equally beautiful blue spring sky.  The festival just started this weekend; Washington, DC is already being mobbed.  What you don't see in this painting is thousands upon thousands of people milling around under the cherry trees!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

"Big Ben Sunset" (oil on stretched canvas; 12" x 12")

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The Big Ben and British Parliamentary Buildings are the iconic image of the United Kingdom. The sunset sky makes the view of the Big Ben across the green Westminster Bridge incredibly romantic!

Monday, March 14, 2016

"Jefferson Memorial Sunset" (oil on linen; 7" x 7") sold


I wanted to see how small I could paint a famous Washington landmark such as Jefferson Memorial and still capture its majestic beauty.  The painting is not only as small as 7" x 7", it also shows the monument at its prettiest--at sunset during the National Cherry Blossom Festival.  How about that!

"Spring's Arrival" (oil on linen; 8" x 6")

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This year, thanks to a mild winter, spring has come early.  Crocuses have come and already gone!  Daffodils and hyacinths are now blooming in my garden.  I am glad I took time to paint these lovely purple crocuses that announced the arrival of spring.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

"Strawberry Pickers" (oil on stretched canvas; 16" x 20")

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I have been working on this painting of two young women picking strawberries at Schlagel Farms in Charles County, MD on and off for several years.  The thing that bothered me most was the figure's hands on the left.  While I was at it, I also redid the strawberry fields surrounding the women and the trees in the distance.  I am finally satisfied with "Strawberry Pickers" and swear I will NOT touch it again!

After second reworking in 2014

Friday, March 11, 2016

"Civil War Union Lieutenant Colonel" (oil on stretched canvas; 18" x 14")

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You may remember Steve, a military history buff and reenactment actor who also models.  I have painted his head-and-shoulders portrait a few weeks ago.  I decided to paint him again in a half-length format to show his Civil-War Union lieutenant colonel uniform with his sword, buckle and all. 

Many paintings go through "I can't take this crap of a painting any more"; I hit the wall in the last week's session.  I, however, persevered and was able to finish it yesterday.  I could have developed those authentic buttons more, but was afraid of them distracting the viewer from Steve's thoughtful, weathered face with a wonderful beard.  So I suggested rather than defined them.  I rather like the portrait.  How about you?

Saturday, March 5, 2016

"Jacques Brel" (oil on stretched canvas; 10" x 8")

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The late Jacques Brel, my favorite muse, was a Belgian singer, songwriter and actor who composed and performed literate, thoughtful, and theatrical songs that generated a large, devoted following—initially in Belgium and France, later throughout the world. He was widely considered a master of the modern chanson.

The portrait is based on a black-and-white CD cover.  Considering that I had to make up the colors, I did a pretty good job, don't you think?

Friday, March 4, 2016

"Peter and Melissa" (oil on stretched canvas; 20" x 16") gift


We have a family tradition: whenever someone gets married, he gets a double wedding portrait from the family artist, myself.  I thought when one of my husband's nephews got married last summer, I would give him a nice toaster and call it quits.  No such thing!  The expectation was so high that I couldn't dare without devastating the groom.  I included some step-by-step pictures that are not high-quality, but still give you an idea of how I approached this important project. 

Step 1: The drawing already looks like the love birds!

Step 2: Peter is my husband's nephew and namesake. My husband is known as Peter the Great in the family.

Step 3: It looks like a spring wedding, doesn't it? The lovely outdoor wedding was actually an August one. We dodged a bad weather, which came in the evening when we were partying inside. A lucky couple!

Step 4: The bride in her dress without a veil looked like a radiant Greek goddess!

Step 5: This bearded young man is one of the twins, whom I have known since he was eight. He is my favorite nephew--kind, thoughtful, smart, and quietly funny. He reminds me of his uncle, my husband.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Collage of My February Paintings

Collage of My February 2016 Paintings

Another month gone, another post for a monthly collage.  Portraits, still lifes, a big commission painting, and the rest are old paintings that I have reworked.  An odd bunch, I admit.  Yet, I go in the direction my heart points.  There will be more portraits, still lifes, pointillist landscapes and cityscapes in the future!