Friday, January 29, 2016

"Both Members of This Club"

6 x 9 Oil on Archival Board

"Both Members of This Club" is a wonderful painting by George Bellows (1909).  One of my very favorites at the National Gallery.  The title refers to the practice of granting "membership" to boxers but only for the duration of the bouts.  They were considered unacceptable to join on a permanent basis.  Bellows showed his disdain for the elitist crowd by depicting them as grotesque.  When you get up close and personal with the painting, you can see the hatred and the "group mentality."  It sort of reminded me of the election process we are going through now.... This is Number 15 out of the 16 I am doing for my upcoming show at the wonderful Goose Creek Studio in March.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Museum Lecture

8 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

Sunday seems to be the best day to go to the museum.  There are so many events happening... Or perhaps we just hit it right.  We were able to listen to an informative discussion about Paul Gauguin's life and his self-portrait.  This painting is my take on that part of our day.  I learned so much from not only this discussion, but also the fascinating information you can get from researching paintings you find interesting. Looking at a painting and admiring it is one thing, but understanding why the artist painted it and his or her motivations gives it another dimension.  More to come.....

Wednesday, January 20, 2016



9 x 6 Oil on Archival Board

It was hard to walk past this piece by Rembrandt. (NGA)  It depicts Lucretia right before her act of suicide.  That amazing face, (hard to see here), the knife in her hand, and the tilted head with that resigned expression...WOW!  This piece was painted in 1664.  One more in my series.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


10 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

Even though I'm closing in on finishing the paintings I need for the show in March, I'm going to continue to paint these museum pieces.  This has been such a great experience.  I have four more to do, and about 50 I still plan to do :-)

The painting here is Jean-Joseph Benjamin Constant's "Favorite of the Emir" painted in 1879 (at the NGA).  The woman I saw looking so intently at the painting could almost be placed on that chaise in the harem, listening to the male servant play his tanbur and luxuriating in the mystery of it all.  I wonder what she was thinking....

A new favorite!

Monday, January 11, 2016


8 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

Meet Scrappy, a commission I did recently.  What a face, right?!  I completed a lot of commissions for the holidays, but I must say that Scrappy was one of my favorites.  These commissions are very Zen-like for me.  They just seem to flow, and I love doing them.  There is no anxiety about what is going on in the world...Just me and my subject, appearing miraculously stroke by stroke.  Nothing better than that :-) 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

It's All in the Details

9 x 6 Oil on Archival Board

Number 10 in my series of paintings of people at museums.  Only 6 more to go to be ready for my show in March.  I love doing these so much and will probably continue, but it's nice to know that I will be ready when I need to be.  This is one of my favorites so far.  The really nice thing about the National Gallery is that the viewer can get up close and personal with the paintings.  It's not that way at all museums.  This room was one of my favorites.  It contained the Dutch masters, and the painting of interest here is "The Prayer Before the Meal" by Jan Steen.  The darks and lights...WOW!

 More to come, interspersed with a few commissioned animal portraits that I can now post :-)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Ready for the Track

10 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

Continuing with my people at museums series...I really loved this woman studying "For the Track" by John Frederick Peto at the National Gallery of Art.  Although painted between 1854 and 1907, this painting has a really modern collage appearance, combining lots of track images; such as a crop, a horseshoe, ripped betting tickets, etc.  The woman dressed in what looked like riding boots just seemed ready take to the track.  Those boots and the tilt of her head won me over :-)