Friday, April 26, 2013

Happy Arbor Day!

images are all photos I took today
by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me, 
But only God can make a tree.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Finding Models

Photo of one of my models that I plan to paint soon

     One of my favorite subjects to paint is the female form. Whether it is the view of a intimate portrait or a distant shadowy silhouette, images of women have always inspired me. In order to paint women I must find models. This can be quite difficult at times. Women look at me a little funny when I say" I would love you to pose for me...I paint" they often respond like I am some kind of pervert or something. Than I normally feel like I have to add "not nude or anything like that." Next I give them a business card and show them some of my art. Even after I explain myself and they trust me, many women are still not comfortable posing. Often they are embarrassed or self conscience. It's a shame, they can not always see their own beauty. That is why I find it takes more than just physical beauty to be a good modal. It takes confidence, self esteem and that spiecal something that comes from inside. The best images happen when the subject is feeling comfortable. Then their honest, natural true self and beauty shines through. Not to say all beautiful images are of self confident people. It simply takes more time and work to capture the image of someone shy or self conscience. The artist must let them warm up and get comfortable in order to caught them being themselves not simply posing.

Featured Artist of the Week
Boris Kustodiev
Portrait art
       Boris Kustodiev was a talented Russian portrait painter, book illustrator and stage-set artist. He was strongly influenced by folk art, legends and superstitions. I love his images for there strong use of color and personality. His strength is seen not only in his paintings but also in his ability to continue to paint upbeat images even through his serious illness.
Portrait of Julia Kustodiev(wife)(1903) by Boris Kustodiev

Saturday, April 13, 2013

When to Stop?

-Pair of Swallowtails-oil on canvas- 11X14" 
   Something I struggle with is knowing when a painting is finished. Some paintings scream "I AM DONE!". I love when this happens. Unfortunately many others are not so loud. They play with my mind forcing me to ask many questions. Does it need more detail, more feeling, more color, more texture or nothing at all? How much is too much? Is more work going to complete it or ruin it? At times it helps me to stop painting go back days later for a fresh look. Often after a break I can look at the piece and see what it needs or does not need.

"Art is never finished, only abandoned."-Leonardo da Vinci

Artist of the Week
Leonardo da Vinci
High Renaissance

Female Head (La Scapigliata) (1508) by Leonardo da Vinci
    Leonardo da Vinci is mostly well known for his paintings, the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper. But painting was only one of his great talents. Sculptor, scientist, and inventor are just a few of his other titles. This vast knowledge helped to make his art so successful. In his paintings you can see Leonardo's understanding of human emotion, anatomy, geology, botany and light. Using all of his talents together has allowed him to create these wonderful masterpiece's.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Magic of the Butterflies

-Red Spotted Purple-10x24"-oil on canvas-

      Two years ago I experienced a magical moment. My family and I went on a day trip to Ceder Falls (a state park south of were I live). While hiking by the creek bed we saw the most spectacular sight. A flutter of swallowtail butterflies were flying about and stopping to drink from the damp rocks near the creek. There were hundreds of butterflies. It seemed like a dream. Naturally I took as many photos as possible, trying to hold on to that feeling, and hoping to capture their dazzling display of beauty.
     So deeply inspired by their performance, I have been working on my butterfly series since that day. To date I have completed 19 butterfly oil paintings. They range in size from 8x10" to 36x48" and display from one to twelve butterflies per painting. Nine of these paintings are now on display for sale at Studio Fovero in German Village Columbus Ohio.
     The Butterflies' spell is still working inside me. I have plans to complete many more swallowtail paintings. Through these images I hope you too feel the magic of the butterflies. 

-Above the Swallowtails-18x40"-oil on canvas-