Friday, July 20, 2007


Who is this intimidating man behind the shades? This is a portrait of my husband Steve and was done from photos taken while we were on an unforgettable two week driving tour of California a few years ago. We spent an afternoon strolling down the palm lined main drag of old Palm Springs, which is revitalized with new shops, boutiques and restaurants, and stopped to have lunch at one of the inviting outdoor cafes. I loved the reflection of the table tiles in his sunglasses and the striking black Hawaiian shirt looked so handsome against his silver hair. "Mr. Hollywood", I jokingly called him..his cool expression fit..I could hardly wait to get home to work on the painting.(On a personal note..Steve actually smiles all the time but that kind of expression wasn't what I was after..)
This is pastel on colourfix..the sand color I think. You can see it coming through in some areas of his skin. The actual background of cafe patrons and tables was so busy that I edited them out. The umbrella helps to keep the viewer's eye from running out of the upper part of the frame and moves you back down to Steve.
Now just WHO was he looking at....?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Finest Pair

This pastel of a very fine pair of Percheron draft horses will be included in the upcoming invitational art exhibit, The Dog and Pony Show at Skyline Farm and Carriage Museum in North Yarmouth, Maine.
I've always loved horses and these big powerful guys really stood out during a day at Maine's largest and best country fair in Fryeburg, a few years ago. The owner was ground driving them outside the pulling arena and had taken a break so I asked if a few photos were possible. The horses stood quietly as I moved around them taking shots. Alert and attentive their ears swiveled and followed every sound made by the driver who stood behind them out of frame. As a horse owner for many years I have to admit to being completely intimidated by this breeds immense size and power. Their feet were bigger than dinner plates.
Instead of using the bright sunlit scenery of the fairground actually behind the horses I painted a swirling mixture of rich dark hues around them creating a chiaroscuro painting, which is a technique truly mastered by the Flemish painter Rembrandt. The grey horses pop out of the background and the warm terra cotta paper showing through in places makes the cool colors sparkle giving the horses the energy and excitement I felt that day..