Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ellie's Blue Hat

Inspired by my visit to the Tinney Contemporary art gallery in Nashville, Tennessee (see post of August 23 - yes, ashamedly that was the last time I posted), I was driven to produce a painting along the lines of true realism.  This type of realism is referred to as hyper-realism, photo-realism, extreme-realism, and other some such labels.

Had a great photo of my granddaughter caught unawares wearing this great, floppy, blue-weave hat.  I loved the pose and wanted to challenge myself with the hat.  Well, I don't know what I was thinking because trying to get hyper-realism on that hat - may not be impossible for some - but it was definitely the hardest thing I've ever attempted to do and I am definitely not happy with it. In fact there are other things I am not happy with, but I've stressed over it enough for now and letting you all see it.  I feel it is unfinished, but I'm posting it here and letting it rest on my easel, (as it has for the past two months) until I can see if I want to tackle it further.

Ellie's Blue Hat - 20x16 oil on canvas

Thanks for visiting. I gotta get to starting another piece. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Realism Art Exhibit

A few days ago, I and two friends, attended an exhibit of five exceptional artists.  All five of these artists' focus is on realism art.  Realism, in some cases, to the point of photo realism.  My focus is  figurative realism so needless to say I was excited about getting to see this exhibit for "up close and personal" viewing.  The artists were:  Eric Zener, Ali Cavanaugh, Yigal Ozeri, Kevin Peterson, and Brian Tull.  If you go to any one of these artist's links you will not only see their amazing work but will also be blown away by their skill - that is, if you're into realism.

After the exhibit we went to the library - one of the biggest and best libraries I have ever visited.  Being so inspired by the art I looked for books on realism painting.  I was introduced, by my friend - to a southwest realism painter - James Bama.  I had never heard of him before and was amazed at his work.  He is as amazing as those I've named above.  I took a couple of photos of his works out of the book so you could see his work.

Sorry, I did have another one to post, but it will not upload properly.  I have an artist friend, Clark Gussin,  who does southwest theme paintings.  I'm sure he knows James Bama.  He is also a super talented painter and is currently showing his work at the Haggin Museum in Stockton, California.

Anyway, like I said, I'm inspired by the extraordinary work of these artists - all whom I've mentioned here - maybe I can by osmosis develop into a painter of skills even close to these.

Friday, July 25, 2014


On my vacation to Hawai'i this past April, I visited with my sister and her husband.  They have a ranch in Waimea on the Big Island of Hawai'i.  As we were leaving my, sister (another one) who was traveling with us saw this flower blooming in the yard.  It was so uniquely different from any other hibiscus I had ever seen that I had to take a picture of it.   My intent was to paint it when I got home.
(I hate to admit it, but this is only the second painting I've done this year - shame on me.)

I scanned the internet to see if this particular hibiscus was a known hybrid.  I found was exactly the one we discovered.  It was named "Persephone."  For those who don't know, Persephone in Greek mythology was the goddess of the underworld.  She was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter and said to be a beautiful young woman who everyone loved.  For a moment there, I thought we had something that no one else had ever seen.  A one-of-a-kind.  Whatever the case, this is my rendering of one of God's beautiful creations.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Visit to Home!

Again, I have not posted to this blog in quite a while and I apologize to those of you who follow me.  Time has moved so fast these last few months.  But today I thought I would post about two weeks out of the time since I was last here.  That, for shame, was way back in February, four months ago.  I’m not even going to say that I’m going to do better.  I did that last time and it didn’t seem to make a difference.
     Anyway, the two weeks I am referring to was in April - specifically April 18th to May 1st.  I went to Hawai’i for a two-week vacation after nearly five years of being away.  Fortunately, it was during the time of the Merry Monarch - a hula competition that happens every year with hula halaus (schools) worldwide.  Most of the worldwide was from “stateside” (continental U.S.) and Japan.  This highly anticipated competition is attended by thousands.  Beside the actual competition; the food and crafts are amazing.  For someone like me who has been away from that for years, it was mesmerizing to hear the chants and the beat of the ipu heke (gourd drum with a top section). Seeing the different halaus perform took me back to a time when I was young and agile enough to be able to do those beautiful hulas.  Not only did I partake of a feast for the eyes and ears, but also a feast for the “tummy.”  Food that I have not enjoyed for years.  It was all so ono (delicious) and I made sure I had everything I had missed.  Surprisingly, I only gained a couple of pounds - Yay!!
     Let me

share a few pictures with you. 
Yes, men are also a part of a halau.  Their rendition of hulas are very powerful.

These were the Maori men from New Zealand - they were amazing.

The women were beautiful and so synchronized, as were the men.

Had to add at least one picture of family.

Isn’t that beautiful - of course I mean the sunset.  This is “ohana” (family).  I’m the one in the middle flanked by my nieces and sister on the right end.  I had such a wonderful time with them.  My sister came from Oahu (“off island”) and my niece next to her flew in from California with her husband.  We are at their timeshare in Kona, on the Big Island (Hawaii).

I had other pictures I wanted to post; however, I had trouble posting these so thought I'd quit while I was ahead.  Hope you enjoyed them.  Now I'm going to do some painting.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Children of the Rainbow - Family of God FINISHED!!

Omigoodness ... July 29, 2013 was my last posting - that was when I started laying in the color of the painting "Children of the Rainbow - Family of God."  This has proven to be quite an undertaking.

It started years ago while on vacation on the Big Island of Hawai'i with my sisters and their children and children's children - confused?  Anyhow, I took a picture of my nieces and nephews as they posed with a sea urchin that they retrieved from the ocean.  I developed the film and as I viewed the results that one picture said to me "these are children of the rainbow." The photo showed me  children from diverse ethnicity groups who were all of one family in the earthly sense - but also one family in the spiritual sense - the Family of God.  That was when I decided that someday I would paint a picture of the "children of the rainbow."

The painting reflects the event - and it truly is an event - getting 18 children together to take a group picture.  We have those who are so excited about being a part of it, those who would rather be somewhere else, those who dressed up for the affair and those who didn't.  Of course we have to have the cut-ups. Four generations are present in the painting.  The little blonde toddler with the boy's arms around her - that boy is her father.  Then the boy (blue shirt and tie) and the boy with arms around the toddler are brothers.  I am their mother in the pink dress with white flowers just above them.  I could explain each one, but that would take forever, just know they are all family.

This is where I started - the sketch.

Then the underpainting.

And here is the finished painting, almost seven months since starting...

Many changes made along the way - correcting and changing.  I am so glad it's done; however, I did see a few places that needed work.

Mahalo ke Akua!!  (Thank you God.)