Leading up to Christmas, I usually do a lot of portrait commissions. This year I had a client who was willing to experiment with hers. I’ve always loved vintage photographs, and so for these I tried to approximate the color of a vintage photograph, but with some variation in the warms and cools of the color. I’m really excited about how they turned out. I’m updating the custom portraits page to include these, and hoping I’ll have the chance to do many more in the future.
I painted this at Illinois Beach State Park on the 4th of July. Lots of people came and went as I painted, but the man at the top of the hill was there for almost the entire time I was painting. I think he must have gone through four cigars because he was smoking almost that entire time, too (Unless one cigar can last several hours?).
Man Overlooking the Beach, 16×12 in, acrylic on gessoboard
Prints of this piece can be purchased through Fine Art America. The original is also available for purchase.
I just got back from a week in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. While there, I visited a new art store and used what I bought painting at the beach in Fish Creek. These paintings were a fun challenge, since the supplies I bought were limited-a palette knife, four paint colors (three primaries plus white), and clay board. I had no brushes, and I was missing most of my favorite colors. Combined with some great photos, I’m hoping to use these sketches to paint some bigger pieces during the cold, miserable winter months when I’m missing the beach.
Overcast Day-Fish Creek Beach, 9×12, Acrylic on Clayboard
I painted this on the one day I had scheduled for painting without any children along, so I was disappointed when I woke up and it was raining. I stuck with the plan, though, and by the time I got there I was greeted by an absolutely stunning overcast morning sky. It sprinkled on and off while I was working, but luckily the piece was small enough that I was able to put up the umbrella and keep it dry. The rain on the palette actually helped to keep my paint from drying up on me. Prints of this piece available here.
Pier at Fish Creek Beach, 8×10, Acrylic on Clayboard
I painted this piece my second day painting. The sky had cleared a little, and there was even a little sun by the end of the morning. My five-year-old came with me, pastels and paper in tow, and we worked side by side for a little while. She also spent quite a bit of time taking photographs with my cell phone, presumably for a larger work she has planned as well. Here is her interpretation of the same beach.
Untitled, 12×9, Pastel on Pastel Paper
She’s kind of amazing.
I painted this all in one long eight hour session yesterday. I think it was the first time since college I had a live model for that long, and I was shocked at how much easier it is to paint a person from life than from a photograph. Hours and hours less time with better results. Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone other than my amazing husband willing to sit still for 8 hours without compensation. This painting is 18×24 in, acrylic on canvas. Prints are available for purchase at Fine Art America.
There is nothing in this world so peaceful as a sleeping baby. This was a quick sketch, 8×10 in, acrylic on paper.
This winter in Chicago has been cold and gloomy. We’ve had constant snow, record cold, and day after overcast day. But the sunflowers my children brought home one day-they were full of hope. Light in the middle of darkness; a glimpse of summer in the middle of winter. This piece is 18×24, acrylic on canvas. Prints of Sunflowers in Winter available here.
This is the second in a series of houses I was commissioned to paint (the first one is here). You won’t be able to find this house…this was how it looked years ago before it was painted brown and the landscaping was changed. When I went to take the picture of the house as it is today, I was so sad to see that the japanese maple to the left of the house is gone. I was told this was the house that all the kids on the block flocked to; a place with lots of laughter where everyone felt welcome. I hope that comes through here. This painting is acrylic on paper, 4×6 inches.
I painted this for a Noah’s Ark themed nursery that my future niece or nephew will be living in. It’s acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20. Unfortunately the picture of this is pretty bad…the colors at the bottom are rainbow colored confetti from the Noah’s Ark themed baby shower. I was having too much fun to take the time to get a good picture.
This painting is that moment, not still daylight but not yet truly a sunset. Acrylic on canvas.
This is from a couple months ago, but I couldn’t share it until after Christmas since the recipient follows this blog closely. This is acrylic on paper, about 14×18. Baby A at the Beach.