Monday, January 16, 2017

Hold My Hand, Please

There are a couple of reasons I chose to paint this moment.

The first reason is because little sister is reaching for  her brother's hand, without even looking to see if he is there to take it. She just trusts that he is there for her. You can tell he is looking her way. She is just a step in front of him, but he is at her side, brotherly instinct to protect her displayed for me to catch with my camera. I fell in love with the shot, and hoped I could do it justice if I painted it.

The second reason is because I wanted to try my hand at painting waves, water and a glistening reflection on the wet sand.

Once again, fingers (hands) are a focal point of my work.

Don Keil For Mayor, Seguin Parade Series

There are two main genres in my portfolio. One, of course, is portraiture, and the other is a mix of Americana and Seguin iconography. Here, you can see how I focus on Seguin yet I still have the Americana with all the flags. For those of my readers who do not live in Texas, I might mention that the Lone Star flag, which is flying proud on the 1955 car, is just as revered and just as loved as Old Glory.

Seguin, first named Walnut Springs in the early 1800's then changed to honor a hero of the Alamo, sits close to San Antonio, and close to Austin. Yet, it still retains the small town charm which so many find attractive. As you can see, even the mayoral race has that small town flavor.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Three Children With a Red Wagon

I have some friends who have one of the most photogenic wildflower spots in their front yard. People, lots of people, stop and take pictures, sometimes without any people in the shots, sometimes with sweethearts or children or pets sitting among the bluebonnets.

I asked if I could use their yard for a photo shoot, and in return, I would take pictures of their kiddos. This painting is a result of that promise. Momma dressed her girls in beautiful matching dresses and baby brother sat in the red wagon. What fun!

Now, as to the difficulties I discovered as I worked on this painting. First of all, the canvas is 12 inches by 24 inches. The majority of the canvas is landscape and the figures are very tiny. I had no idea that it is exponentially more difficult to capture the essence of a person's features the tinier the figure. Think about it. On a large canvas, say 3 feet by 4 feet, the painter has at least several hundreths of an inch leeway to get a feature "right." When the entire face is only the size of a pinkie fingernail, the variance for error is probalby only nano-specks.

So, I worked and reworked the two girls' faces over and over and over. Mostly, I like the little boy's face. To me, it seems like a good rendering. The girls, however, look fine as figures of random, anonymous children, but they don't look enough like the actual children I photographed.

I developed an immense respect for artists who painted the victorian and earlier miniatures.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Barefoot Princess

Some princesses don't care if they break royal protocol by posing with their bare feet peeking out from the cover of their royal gowns. This princess made sure she had her blue plastic ring and her Disney tiara in place, but didn't take time to slip on her Cinderella slippers. Personally, I love her just the way she is…

Her pup, Oscar, is ever so loyal and well-behaved, a true gentleman in every sense of the word.

Baby Ballerina

This little darling performed at a dance recital I attended. At the completion of all the performances, proud parents and grandparents showered their little divas with bouquets and posed the precious ballerinas for photos. This little girl just stole my heart. She is a classic, eternal beauty. So, while daddy was taking her picture, I was over on the side, taking a photo also.

In my attempt to master new skills, I wanted to work on clothing folds and material shimmers. I think I did a pretty good job on the outfit. I wish I had done as well on her face. I never quite got the pouty innocence no matter how many times I tried. It has been several years since I painted this one, and I never did seal it, so I may go back, some day, and see if I can get mine to look a little more like the photo.

Running Girl

I have to tell you a story about this little girl. She is not a performer, she is not motivated by people's praise, she could care less whether she ever gets any gold stars. But she is polite.

 This is Ellie.

She is the sister of the little conductor in a previous post. He calls me his best friend. She loves me just as much, but she shows it so much differently.

Instead of running up to hug me, she quietly and unobtrusively sneaks up to snuggle with me when I am not paying attention. When asked if she would like to talk to me on the phone, I generally hear her reply, "No thank you," but I don't get my feelings hurt.

You see, Ellie is an artist, just like her grandmother. And when she draws, I find myself features in a lot of her work, surrounded by rainbow, larger than any other figure, honored and loved.

I look into her beautiful eyes, and I know. She loves me just as much as I love her.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

All Aboard!

Here's the cutest conductor I have ever seen. This is acrylic on canvas, 16x20.