Thursday, October 31, 2019

Very Scary Path at Long Hill Gardens

This image started with a daylight photo of a path at Long Hill Gardens, here in Beverly, MA. It is far from scary, although I have long thought those columns to be mysterious.  But for October 31, I changed the lighting and added a Prisma filter for those strange swirling shapes that look like eyes.  I am not sure I would venture down this path tonight!  Sending this out to say safe paths and Halloween fun for those celebrating today.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Yellow Mums (with Prisma filter)

Yesterday's post was a photo of yellow mums.  Here's the same photo, this time with a Prisma filter that emphasizes line and pattern.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Yellow Mums

This picture was taken on October 15th, during a walk through the neighborhood around 5:30 pm.  This is the photo, just as it came out of my iPhone.  We still have amazing fall colors, but they will be gone soon. Mistaken identity.  Photo is mislabeled. I thought these were marigolds.

Monday, October 28, 2019

House on Signal Mountain (As of Oct. 28, 2019)

This is the painting I am working on, a "house portrait" based on a photo (posted here September 16). I was a bit short on time today, so I focussed on the foliage in front of the house. My goal was just to work out the placement of those bushes for the composition.  Part of the process was to turn both the reference photo and the canvas upside-down.  Sounds crazy, but it almost always helps. To be continued. . . .

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Pink Hydrangeas in October

This image started with a photo I took during a neighborhood walk in mid-October.  Some of the hydrangeas are turning the most beautiful colors!  Tonight I cropped the original photo to get this composition.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

House on Signal Mountain (As of Oct. 26, 2019)

Today I finally had a chance to get back to this project, "House on Signal Mountain."  I am painting this "house portrait" from a reference photo, posted here September 16. Today I worked on the lines of the tree in front of the house, and placement of the trees behind the house.  I started adding some color to the stone wall, and also added color for the mulched areas of the lawn.  And I began lightening the reflections of the sky, seen in the windows.  At this point, am still just trying to get everything in the right place. Final colors and textures will come later.  To be continued. . . .

Friday, October 25, 2019

Bright Leaves on Late Morning Walk

We took a walk in a neighborhood near the beach this morning.  Lots of beautiful leaves and flowers.  I love brightly colored leaves, so I took this picture.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

REPOSTING: Portrait of Herman's Mom (Acrylic Painting, 2006)

Day before yesterday, I posted a pencil sketch for this portrait. Now I am posting the final portrait that I painted of my friend Herman's mother back in 2006. 

When I was around 5, the Sussers moved in around the corner from where I lived in Pueblo, Colorado. Herman and I became playmates and friends at grade school, and Sunday School, spreading our collective orneriness across the neighborhood. So I knew Lili as Herman's mom. She had a musical voice, and lovely accent, and served great snacks when I came over.  Sometimes I listened while Lili spoke Yiddish with my grandmother. And I think it was my grandmother who explained that that the Sussers had been in concentration camps, but it was only later that I knew what that meant. And what I know now:

As a young girl, Lili lost her whole family in the holocaust but rose from the ashes of that loss. She started again. After the war, she  married Julius, also a holocaust survivor, and with her husband and young son, crossed the Atlantic and came to the U.S. From that beginning, her family grew to include three children, many grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

In the U.S., she began to learn English, and  moved to a place I doubt she had ever heard of, Pueblo, Colorado. Over time, she became part of this new community, and friends with enough of my relatives that I think of the Sussers as part of the meshpocha (family).

Lili lost a whole decade of her childhood to the concentration camps. But from the longings  of lost childhood years, as an adult she created a wonderful collection of dolls.  She and Julius made sure Herman had a train set that was the envy of 8-year-old me. And Lili always seemed to me to be young, somehow. 

From her memories of the holocaust, Lili wrote a book, starting with notes jotted on little pieces of paper. She did all this in her adopted language of English. With the help of her son Herman and his wife Kerry, she published the book and used it when she gave many, many talks to school children in Colorado, making sure they knew about the holocaust.  

Lili Susser was a woman of valor.  Although her time with us here on the planet ended yesterday, she will be remembered by so many of us, and her memory will be for a blessing for us, as was her life.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Colors of Autumn

My current art projects have been on hold for a while because I have been coughing my head off for about a week, starting with allergies, then head cold, and then coughing asthma.  I think I got this all started by raking leaves, a chore which I actually like, but it doesn't like me.  But that doesn't stop me from loving the color show that happens every autumn when the leaves turn.  This is a photo that I took back on October 15, 2019, on a walk around the neighborhood.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Reposting: Pencil Sketch for a Portrait of Herman's Mom

Back in 2006, I painted a portrait of my friend Herman's mother.  This is the pencil sketch I did to prepare for the painting.  When I was growing up in Pueblo, the Sussers lived around the corner and his mother was very nice to his ornery little playmate. I was fascinated by Lili's musical voice and her accent. (She and her husband were survivors of the concentration camps in Poland, an experience she later wrote about.) At the time, she was just my friend's mom who had a pretty smile and a great laugh.  And I was blown away by Mrs. Susser's snacks like rice krispie bars and caramel apples from scratch, especially around Halloween. The irony that these treats were created by a concentration camp survivor was lost on me at the time. But in my defense, I will point out that down the block, at my house, about 80% of the cooking was done by my Russian grandma, whose Ashkenazi desserts were coffee cake and maybe mandel bread if we were lucky, so those "All-American" treats at the Sussers were amazing to me! Lili has been on my mind lately, so I decided to  to post this to wish her "refuah schlema" (swift and complete healing).

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

House on Signal Mountain (as of Oct. 15, 2019)

I worked on this painting again today.  I am painting a "house portrait", working from a photo (posted here September 16, 2019.  Today I continued working on the shadows on the lawn, and a few of the shadows on the house.  I am trying to capture that golden late afternoon light. To be continued. . . .

Monday, October 14, 2019

House on Signal Mountain (as of Oct. 14, 2019)

I worked on this "house portrait" today.  I am using a photo as a reference (posted here September 16.)  Today I did a very small amount of work on the house itself, but spent most of the painting session working on the shadows on the lawn. I reworked the original placement, trying to get the lines of the main shadows where I wanted them.  I can't see the trees that cast the shadows, so I need to focus on what I actually see, not with what I know or understand or think should be there. So I turned both the reference photo and the canvas upside-down, and that helped (as it often does). It must sound silly, but turning things upside-down forces me to focus on what I see (not what I know) which is why it is often so helpful. 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Roses in SOWA (with Prisma filter)

I recently posted a photo of roses and an iron fence in SOWA (South of Washington art and design district in Boston).  Here is the same photo, this time with a Prisma filter.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

House on Signal Mountain (as of Oct. 12, 2019)

This is the house portrait I am painting as it looks as of today.  I am working from a reference photo (posted here Sept. 16.) Today I reworked some of the architectural details of the front of the house, including the vertical panels, the front door, and the glass windows.  I also worked on the light and shadows on the lawn, and suggested some of the trees behind the house.  I am trying to capture the late afternoon light. To be continued. . .

Friday, October 11, 2019

Roses in SOWA

I spent today gallery sitting at Galatea Fine Arts, in SOWA (the art and design district south of Washington Street). On the way to the gallery, I passed some lovely roses behind this iron fence.  However, it was windy and rainy today, not good weather to stop and take a picture.  So I am posting a photo that I took there back on September 26th.  Those roses are still in bloom today!  Tonight I also created a version of this photo with a Prisma filter, and I plan to post it here tomorrow.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

House on Signal Mountain (as of October 10, 2019)

Today I finally returned to this house portrait.  I am working from the reference photo that I posted here on September 16th.  Today I began by working on the perspective of the structures on the front of the house: eaves, beams, and stairs. I used a ruler and straight-edge. I made progress but there are still lines that need to be straightened and angles that need to be adjusted. The stairs are almost, but not quite, straight on, which means there is foreshortening to deal with. I also roughed in the sky and added green to the lawn.  These are not the final shapes or even the final colors, but it helps to paint the whole canvas as I go rather than focus too closely on one part at a time.. I also used some loose brush work to indicate the stone wall and shrubbery.  To be continued. . .

Monday, October 07, 2019

Hydrangeas in Porto

A lovely memory from my trip to Porto in July. Here north of Boston, we have a lot of hydrangeas, too.  But there are everywhere in Porto.  I saw these at the edge of a little carwash, and I took a picture.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Guest Artist: Marjorie Kaye

Today's guest artist is Marjorie Kaye, painter, sculptor, and director of Galatea Fine Arts.  We went to Galatea this morning and I had a chance to see Marjorie's show "Synaptic Tides", which opened Friday night.  Her work is amazing!  Marjorie was there today, so I took a picture of her with my favorite piece in her show.  Go see her show in person if you have the chance.  While you are at Galatea, you can also see lovely paintings by Tamara Gonda, and a great exhibit by the Eliot School, and of course work in the Artist's Alcove, this month focussed on the human figure.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

House on Signal Mountain (as of Oct. 5, 2019)

This is a house portrait that I am painting, working from a photo. (My reference photo is posted here on Sept. 16th). Today I worked on the front steps, the eaves, and the long late afternoon shadows on the front lawn.  To be continued.

Friday, October 04, 2019

House on Signal Mountain (as of Oct. 4, 2019)

I did a little work on this painting this morning.  I am working from a photo, so I made some corrections based on measurements in the photo.  I added lights and darks, just working with brown and white, but then added some yellow.  I worked on the foreground, trying to establish where the long afternoon shadows should go.  To be continued.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

House on Signal Mountain (as of Oct. 3, 2019)

Finally had a chance to get this painting started, a "house portrait".  (I am working from a photo, posted here recently).  I did a pencil sketch to prepare.  Time was short today, so I worked quickly to sketch in the composition with light pencil on canvas and then some transparent acrylic. I used both the reference photo and my pencil sketch as guides. This is very rough, and there will be lots of adjustments to come, but this captures the basic composition. I will work on precision and measurements later.  But it felt good to get this started. I am working in acrylics on canvas, 16 x 20.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Topsfield Fair Midway (with Prisma filter)

During early October, one of the big attractions around here is the Topsfield Fair.  I love it, and go when I can manage it.  I guess I like it because it reminds me of the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, Colorado, where I grew up.  I took this picture back in 2014, and came across it tonight.  I added a Prisma filter and then cropped the image to get this composition.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Sunflower Bouquet (with Prisma filter)

Here is another photo that I took last fall at Tendercrop Farms.  I recently added the Prisma filter.