Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Icarus V (Auction)--SOLD

It warms the cockles of my heart to know that the first thing my relatives think of upon finding a dead bird is...me.  I was summoned to my second cousin's mum's house (big complicated family, I know) to scoop up a little male Rufous Hummingbird.  The males have red and orange throats and the females have the more famous green.

"Icarus V," 5x7", oil on panel

When I arrived with plastic bag in hand, I found that my three year-old second cousin once removed had meticulously arranged seashells and rocks from the beach around this little creature.  Isn't it amazing how little kids just know to do that?  Death calls for ceremony.  But art calls for truth.  So without any compunction, I swiped bird, shells, and rocks into my bag and took them all back to my studio.

If you would like to see a colour-true image that hasn't been warped by the meta-data stripping that both eBay and Blogspot do, send me a message.  I posted three different versions of the image, with varying contrast and colour balance, and when uploaded together all three looked exactly the same.  What the heck, Blogspot?  This little alla prima is for auction here.

Monday, April 28, 2014

PSoA 6 x 9 piece "limited size, unlimited awesomeness"

Here was my 6 x 9 for the Portrait Society of America.  I taped this story to the back of the piece. I would also like to thank Matt Innis and others for keeping animals classy.

The Story of the Baron Von Featherbottom

Born to a family of wealthy British fowl, the noble Baron was a Magpie who had a bit of a taste for Mother’s Ruin; fine gin that is. He was a gambling bird as well who would often fraternize with the other Magpies at the public house, sometimes bringing them shiny objects in an attempt to impress. Meanwhile, his rather beautiful wife, the Baroness Featherbottom, was home alone with her clutch of eggs. Very often he would fly home drunk, with the smell of other bird’s pheromones fresh on his beak. One day, she had had enough, and moved back to her country farm with the young chicks. The Baron continued on his path of drinking and gambling until his inheritance was all but squandered. Here I present you with a portrait of the Baron, just a “shell” of a bird at this point. But we do not cry for him, as his soul already lay dead…at the bottom of a bottle.

Monday, April 21, 2014

PSoA Conference Vendor's Room

If you're headed to the PSoA conference in Washington DC this week, keep some extra jingle in your pocket for the free-for-all madness that is the Exhibitor Room. In fact, Dave and I will be spending quite a bit of our time in that room with the vendors, not just because we're spendthrift shopaholics with too many credit cards, but because we're going to be hanging out with George and Tania at their Natural Pigments booth. We'll be on hand to talk about our preferred colours and mediums with anyone who wants their ears talked off (service free of charge). And don't forget, Lynn Sanguedolce, First Honor Award winner of the Portrait Society of America International Portrait Competition for two years in a row, will be demoing her portrait painting technique on Friday, April 25th, from 9am to 12pm. It's simple. Show up at nine, spend three hours circling around racking up an astronomical tab of brushes, palettes, and paints, and then see her wrap up her painting at noon.

I'm pretty sure Lynn can knock out a three-quarter length figure in an interior with a still life in the background within her three hour time limit.

Don't forget to use my patented technique for buying art supplies: buy as many small purchases as possible on separate tabs so that you don't ever see your total spendings all at once.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cecilia Beaux Forum Discussion Panel

On April 26th at some ungodly hour in the neighbourhood of 7am, Dave and I will be presiding on a Discussion Panel for the Cecilia Beaux Forum at the Portrait Society of America Conference.  It might be the only time I preside over anything, so I'm going to preside like a goddamn queen and enjoy it, even though I'll probably be staggering to the podium directly from the lounge where I spent the night losing track of my martini glass.

The topic that Dave and I are supposed to talk about (and therefore know something about) is...duhn-duhn-DUHN...BLOGGING!  We have fifteen minutes to wax poetic about the whimsical and carefree lifestyle of the non-professional blogger.  So my question is, what do you all want to know?  Bonus, we'll answer all your questions in a blog post after the conference, so you don't even need to get out of bed before 7am if you don't want to!

So tell us, what do want to know about blogging, art sales, and alienating collectors and galleries with appallingly frank discussions about our art?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Icarus IV (Auction!)--SOLD

It was pretty heartwarming when my parents called me up to tell me they had a dead bird for me.  I'm taking it as reassurance that they've come to terms with the fact that I didn't go to med school like my sister.

This beauty is a Varied Thrush.  I immediately thought of Thomas Hardy's "The Darkling Thrush."  I didn't know there were thrushes around here, but slowly I'm learning the local bird species one dead bird at a time.

Icarus IV, 8x10", oil on linen

I've painted this chippy teal wood three times, so this time I changed the colour a teensy bit to better complement the orange of the bird and the green of the ivy.  My favourite part of the painting in the beak and chin area.  Isn't it annoying how it's the areas that go quickly and effortlessly that are the best, and the parts that took a lot of work always remain dissatisfying?  Someone should fix that about the universe.

Icarus IV is up for auction right now.  Go take a look if you were thinking to yourself, "My interior decorating lacks a certain je ne sais quois.  Perhaps a dead bird would tie everything together."  

(eBay and Blogspot strip metadata from images, resulting in distorted colours.  The eBay picture looks absolutely awful.  The picture above is very close to the painting, although a bit lighter and more saturated.  No amount of tinkering made the photo above match the painting perfectly.  If you really need to see a perfect picture, message me and I'll send one to you.)