Friday, August 22, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Better Materialists

This is a rough scan of the drawing I've been working on off and on today. If you want to see it well, click on one or the other sides to get a better view. The panel is too big for the scanner bed which creates some weird shadows and breaks when scanning, but this gives the general idea. I've been trying to focus on the portraits within the still life settings to a greater extent in this outing. I have also begun considering my deer mount/trophy a portrait as well. I hope to paint this and several more panels like this in the next couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to color after working almost exclusively in my earth palette. I will post the final work when I finish it.

Source Material

I've been mining the antique store for source materials for the paintings I'm working on, and I've been CHARMED by 1950s era cookbooks. I love the faded color printing, and I absolutely love the idea that the 1950s era housewife might need to be instructed on the types of cuts of meat or the uses of cheese. How fabulous! These have migrated into the underdrawing to be posted later today. Hope you enjoy a little slice of the studio!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Timid Starlet

Casual Installation and My New Antique Deer Mount

I got myself an 8-point buck from the Waltham Antiques Co-op on Felton Street. He was shot in 1922, but he's still in great shape, the plaque bears the name of his hunter. I've been looking for a model for my deer paintings for quite a while. It is intriguing to finally have some taxidermy of my own. I think it improves the paintings. Meanwhile, in the studio, I've been hanging my little baby skulls and portraits together into a kind of ring of icons or trophies. I like the result and I'm looking forward to growing the grouping of little oil paintings ranging from 2 x 3.5 inches to 6 x 6 inches. I'm loving the way the limited palette gets heightened by the smallest inclusions of bright transparent orange earth in the deer mount.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I'm in my home studio husband and I have taken to calling the tree house, as it overlooks this giant beech tree. On every windowsill are little skull paintings ranging in size between 2x3 inches to 6x6 inches. This is a 5x5 inch painting I was particularly pleased with today. Hope you enjoy, its still a touch wet on the scanner glass.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Just back from my trip to Amsterdam with my father, I thought I would leave a survey of the walks made through the remarkable city, to its many museums, shops, canals, and landmarks. We visited Rembrandt's house, recreated with many of the objects and possessions in the house when Rembrandt went bankrupt. I was stunned by the array of objects in his Kunstkammer (cabinet of curiosity or the most elegant array of painting and teaching props I've ever seen). Rembrandt's recreated studio is also startling, arranged with a nod to one of his drawings of the space. We took in the Gay Pride Parade on the canal system, a floating parade which was an incredible and memorable event full of joy and confetti. Our visit to the Rijksmuseum was a beguiling exercise in the viewing of long-awaited works of art, including my personal favorite, Jan Asselijn's Threatened Swan. We visited the Van Gogh museum where I became enthralled with his lesser known Dutch-influenced early and much darker paintings as well as the copious holdings they have in still life. I was especially partial to Van Gogh's paintings of Parisian Novels and Shrimp! We took in the New Church and its elegant show "Black is Beautiful: Rubens to Dumas", the women's only Begijnhof, the lush and bustling Amsterdam Flower Market, the luxe Herengracht (men's canal), and richly layered pedestrian and bike friendly streets. My father and I also took a day trip by train to the Hague (den Haag as the Dutch say) and were astonished by the beauty of the Dutch government buildings as well as the absolute-must-see Mauritshuis Museum. There we dazedly took in Vemeer's Girl with a Pearl Earing, a captivating array of Rembrant works including a moving late portrait, and some of the lushest still life paintings I have ever laid eyes on. The pictures of Den Haag will come in the next day or so, when I catch my breath. We stayed at the Hotel de l'Europe, an intriguing old-world place full of paintings, chandeliers, and curiosities. Interestingly, the hotel is owned by members of the Heineken family, so that's the beer they have on tap, exclusively, which we indulged in greatfully while devouring Dutch snacks after days of walking. I am so grateful for the wandering days spent with my father, I don't know when we'll get to do anything like this again together.