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!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Copy of Detail from Sir Peter Paul Rubens's "The Straw Hat" (oil on linen; 12" x 9")

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The painting is the copy of a detail from "Portrait of Susanna Lunden or The Straw Hat" by the Baroque master Sir Peter Paul Rubens. It is now in the National Gallery, London. It was done as a homework for Danni Dawson's portrait painting class at the Art League School in Alexandria, VA. The assignment was glazing: start the painting with a grisaille in burnt umber, cobalt blue, and white; let the grisaille dry, then build up the colors with layers of thin paints slowly over the period of several weeks.

The title "Le Chapeau de Paille" (meaning The Straw Hat) was first used in the 18th century. In fact, the hat is not straw; "paille" may be an error for "poil", which is the French word for felt. The hat, which shades the beautiful face of the sitter, is the most prominent feature of the painting. Her fabulous, asymmetrical dress and cleavage are not shabby either!

The portrait's subject is Susanna Lunden (née Fourment), elder sister of Rubens' future second wife Helena Fourment. The portrait probably dates to the time of Susanna's second marriage in 1622, to Arnold Lunden.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

"Master of the Hunt" (oil on stretched canvas; 20" x 16")

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Claire, from France, is a sculptor who occasionally models. Here she is dressed as the Master of the Hunt. By the way, she is not the master herself, but hunts nevertheless in Leesburg, VA You can see a bit of her black top hat, but unfortunately her long, slender, ballerina-like legs in black boots are cut off in this half-length portrait. The painting was done from life during Danni Dawson's portrait painting class at the Art League School in Alexandria, VA.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

"Cupid's Choice" (oil on linen; 4" x 5") sold


Who can resist this heart-shaped donut with pink icing and heart sprinkles? It is also filled with gooey Bavarian cream. Not I. Evil Dunkin Donuts. There goes my diet!

"Happy Year of the Rooster" (oil on linen; 8" x 8")

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A few days ago was the New Year's Day on the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Do you know it is now the Year of the Rooster? Happy Year of the Rooster! By the way, I was channeling Matisse while I was working on this small painting. I hope the colorful painting evokes his work!