Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Baby Girl with Toy Horse

Baby Girl with Toy Horse

Children were frequently painted holding their favorite toy.  This little child was painted to look sweet  and innocent. It is actually one that I kept because I just loved how naively it was painted.  Twenty-one years ago I started my painting career with portraiture (and Fraktur).  I never promised to achieve an exact likeness but I sure tried.  This particular painting was finished about 15 years ago.  I have it featured in a lemon gold antique frame with old wavy glass.  I love the little yellow chair that is simply decorated and the simple little horse that she carefully holds.  I call her a "she" but "SHE" may actually be a "HE" based on the part of the hair.  Frequently the girls parted their hair in the middle, while the boy's hair was parted on the side.  I don't care, it's a girl.  

My Pet Bird

 My Pet Bird

Another painting going to Nantucket Country!  This particular piece was inspired by the many sheep that called Nantucket their home back in the 1700-1800's.  Because Nantucket was an island, there were virtually no natural predators making it a perfect place for shepherding sheep. 

 Nantucket was one of the largest whaling capitals in the world in the 1700's and early 1800's.  Large number of settlers that came to the island brought sheep.  By 1845 it was estimated that there were over 15,000 sheep grazing on the island.  The sheep overgrazed trees and shrubs, allowing low-growing heathland  and grassland plants to develop without competition for sunlight and nutrients.  

Although this painting is "make believe," it represents a time in history that actually existed. The little bird in the left tree is what the painting is actually about.  The lady in the picture is holding an empty birdcage.  There is a small amount of script above the left tree that says, "My Pet Bird." 

 I like to decorate with antiques and work reproductions into my home decorating.   

Friday, November 23, 2012

Nantucket Mass! Maxie's Pond!

Maxie's Pond 

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Have you ever wondered how a mermaid dresses when it's snowing?  Well, I have. I picture them with white flowing capes that turn them into sweet innocent angels. Ha!  They lured men from the past, and they lure us today.  Many artists have depicted them, some serious and some playful, some topless.   I go for the whimsical in between look, myself.  I decided that they have to have tops on, too, because I'm a good conservative from Pennsylvania and it just seemed that it had to be that way.  

There is a pond on Nantucket that the locals like to ice-skate on (or so I have been told).  It seemed fitting to name this painting after that very pond.  This particular piece went to Nantucket Country, Nantucket, Massachusetts.  The mermaids that are around the fire are warming their tails.  There is a light snow falling and the muted colors against the bright blue sky remind us that winter is not very far away.

Reproduction Portraits in A Modern Frame

A Joseph Davis' Style Painting with Modern Day Portraits

This painting was a lot of fun.  I had a customer that wanted an anniversary piece, customized with their faces.  She wanted it to look like an old family heirloom antique  but with my style of painting.  I wish now that I had taken pictures of the different steps that were taken to achieve the finished product. I started with the highly decorated rug and worked my way up.    

The customer had a lot of beautiful pastels mixed with antiques and fun patterns.  Incorporating these colors into the painting was important to achieve a final piece that blended well with her home.  After the rug, I painted the man and then the woman.  The table and its contents were also quite deliberate, as we wanted the painting to be about what each of them enjoyed.  Because her husband's daily ritual included reading several newspapers,  I chose to have him holding a newspaper rather than a book.  The fine lady is holding a needlepoint.   Her dog was painted in after I was certain I could place her somewhere that she would stand out.  If you have a chance, google "Joseph Davis."  He painted in another time and for what it's worth, he was a left-handed painter.  He even includes this little fact on many of his paintings.  

Where I have written information about the sitter, Joseph Davis would have included the left-handed painter info. 
The frame was carefully selected by the customer and it is new.    Although, I mostly try to use antique frames, This newer frame really works because the bed is a repurposed antique with brand spanking new white paint and a lovely contemporary fabric.  My customer felt that having an old frame on this piece would make it too serious and "heavy."  I think she is right! 

A house on Hussey Street, Nantucket, Mass

A House on Hussey Street 


I was recently in Nantucket and acquired this lovely frame from shop owner, Cam Dutton, of Nantucket Country.  I regularly paint for her shop/gallery.   We wanted to somehow incorporate the name "Hussey" into the piece so it is carefully written across the bottom of the painting.  I painted this in the watercolor technique using acrylic paints that are thinned down.  I love the bright orange walkways with the brilliant blue sky.  The trees are painted in a whimsical style that really sets the mood and time of the painting back into the 1850s, which is my favorite time.  I wish I could live back then but with air conditioning and internet and running water.  This painting is fitted with antique glass to match the style and in keeping with the frame.