Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Commissioned Portrait

Painting babies and little kids are a bit of a challenge to me. I don't feel free to use my more aggressive brush strokes and find myself blending and softening. I actually drew this one before I started painting. I don't remember if I have ever done that before.

Here is the progress of a painting I am working on. It is not finished. I have to wait until the paint dries so I can make corrections and use some glazing. Probably one more day of work ahead.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

When a Painting Doesn't Work

Not every painting I start ends up to my satisfaction. I worked on this one too long. It had a good start and then I began the struggle. The background didn't work and after I finished that, I realized that the story was not being told, since I had not included her hand in the finished painting. The next day, after trying to forget how many hours I had worked on it, I covered it with black gesso and started a new painting and a new pose.
what happened to her hand?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Process of a painting

"Wein 1910
I found out when I was working on the 50 Faces project that people were fascinated by the process of how I get to the finished painting. It is easy to post the process since I always photograph while working,

Here is "Wein 1910 from the "Memories" series. I start with a few coats of milk paint to create a white, absorbent surface. I use milk paint rather than gesso because that is compatible with encaustic, while acrylic gesso is not.

I start the image with ink washes to define the image. Then I add 2 or 3 coats of clear encaustic medium followed by oil paint washes. I apply the paint, soften it by rubbing and then fuse with a gas torch. You can see that the paint moves under the flame. I use charcoal to get the blackest blacks; scrape with a razor blade to soften and add texture. Finally a added a bit of gold encaustic to frame the title "Wein 1910"

Would you like to more blogs of my process?
ink wash drawing

oil paint and charcoal on the right

More charcoal paint and fusing

I scraped with a razor blade to soften.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Is It True That Artists Are Always Young?

I was listening to NPR the other day and heard Gloria Steinem being interviewed. What a fascinating woman! She mentioned that she is 82 years old. So am I. She tells people her age, as do I, because it seems quite curious to her. The number sounds ancient and she doesn't feel archaic. Ms. Steinem said that she doesn't have role models for women her age. That struck me as something that I am not experiencing. There are many women painters that are that age and creating great work.

Under my high school graduation picture in the 1952  year book, some mysterious editor wrote, "Artists are always young" At 17 years old, I didn't understand it. Now, I do. We are never finished; even though I boldly proclaim, several times a years, "I am through painting forever and forever." That is until I am driven to create a new series, thinking I must make the best art possible to leave in the world after I am gone.

Here is quote from May 20, 2913 issue of Art News titled
You Become Better With Age. http://www.artnews.com/2013/05/20/making-art-after-8/

Artists who are going strong at 80 and up find that old age offers freedom, self-assurance, and room to explore .

I finished the series Reverie yesterday. There are 12 paintings. all are 80cm x 100 cm on board and are available for purchase.http:www.ezshwan.com
I will take my usual break to work online and get ready for a gallery opening Oct first. I am sure there will be more paintings. In the back of my mind I am picturing some smaller cold wax abstracts, but who knows? I have loved figurative painting since I was a child. 

Remembering When We Met.

Rose Petals

The Kiss of the Giant Hummingbird



The Key to Her Heart