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May it be an UP day! k

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

showing the RELATIONSHIPS in your paintings...

As the day's heat up here in SW FL many of the plein air outings... literally move out of here, so to speak.  In the spirit of Mother's Day, and Father's Day not far behind... thought would share a few of my portraits that have done over the years showing relationships... Here are just a few:
A New Leaf, Dedication, Four For Tea, Got JOY, Face To Face- One To Ninety Four, Momma's Heartbeat, A True Story, Breath Of Life, Daddy's Breath, The Lesson, Megan And Audrey, Summer Patience, Gottcha, ..., Thank Heaven For Little Girls, Reflections, Exploring The In An Outs Together....
a new leaf

Four For Tee


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I share all of these, with an emphasis on TWO things... Relationships... and what our job as an Artist is... to control the viewers eye... And with these portraits, in doing so, hope to also depict more than just an accurate depiction of the color of their hair or eyes....

Momma's Heart Beat

 We are talking about Relationship here... and what is trying to be said in that.  Move down to the painting... "Summer Patience" and "Gottcha"....


Summer Patience
 these two paintings here, use the EXACT same reference to tell a completely different story....  THIS illustrates your ability as the artist in telling the story of the people you are painting before you.  WHAT is the focus.  Sure, a portrait is a portrait.... sometimes that is all that is needed.... a straight on portrait painting.  These are not meant to be those, these are the relationship portrait paintings that have done over the years.... Its about the relationship in them... The two above, I often use as an example in composition for my beginner painting or even drawing classes.  One reason, they are paintings that 'i' still own, because they are of my own children.  The drawing, originally done as a same size study drawing for the painting...  shows a completely different emphasis and focus to the exact same subjects.  In the drawing titled 'Gotcha' you see the third subject in the shadow... and the front subject highlighted.  Done so for the literal need to study those hands and feet before painting them, but also for the fun of the contrast and a main subject NOT looking at you.  Notice the hand... and the face looking at that hand.  it looks like they are interacting in play a bit... with a 'gotcha' pinch.  Now look at the painting, the painting was titled 'Summer Patience'  And that was what this truly was a painting of.  Patience.... of getting three little ones four and under, to sit still in their baptism(dedication seersucker white outfits that i sewed for them too) to sit still long enough to paint them from this most memorable keepsake moment.  When you see the final painting... if not told, you may not notice the subtle story within the story going on here.  Its not a gottcha actually at all.  Its a 'Stay put little brother' finger hold.  In the drawing the back figure in shadow, in now highlighted and really where the eye is led too. Now you can notice the funny little expression on his face...  That expression came from me making him remove his pacifier from his mouth... that you now may notice he is holding in his left hand.  From that you may now see the little one up front is staring directly at that pacifier, now closer to his reach... and to keep the ten month old from diving onto that hand... big sister helps out by holding him in place.  Summer Patience plays on, pretty much with these three still in these roles presented here today.  That little guy holding the pacifier is getting married on June 2nd.  Big sister still sneaks in a little direction to her brothers, particularly her youngest one, who to this day remains a wonderful front and center, but often distracted by the goings on, and doing multi tasks.  That Groom to be pictured here, stays true to that character too....  always willingly doing what needs to be done, preferably in 'his' good time.

Its fun reminicing... as mother day has just past... and Fathers day is soon to come.  Its also fun remembering that when we paint a relationship portrait... many many many times its so much more than the figures before us that we are looking to share/illustrate.  The lesson of summer patience was inspired by a favorite painting of mine done by John Singer Sargent "The Daughters Of Edward Darley Boit" which has often been noted as "Arguably the most psychologically compelling painting of Sargent's career"  In it relationship of childhood is illustrated in the portrait of the four daughters. We can all take a lesson from the master work of John Singer Sargent, that often when we paint a portrait... the relationship is as much a factor as the models themselves.
That the goal in these relationship paintings from the past of what is being reflected from them... Well I hope.  These last two here: "Reflections" and "Exploring The Ins And Outs Together" show two completely different ways of doing that with figures in your painting.  One the figures are completely in a silhouette, the other, they are in an equal detail with the landscape...  Both paintings use the surroundings as much as a part to tell the story as the figures do though...  Another lesson taken from John Singer Sargent.  Well, as the  MOG i have much to do in these next couple of weeks.  Will not be a LOT of Plein Air Painting... but am working diligently on the most significant relationship painting that have ever painted.  Hope to be able to unveil it the 10th of June.  Will be sharing more about that after the Wedding.    May it be an UP day for you all!  In EVERY WAY.  K