July 25, 2012


Oil on panel  - 8" x 8"
It seems odd to sit here knowing there is no place to put my work anymore.  Well, to be fair, there is still facebook and this blog.  I was speaking more of an internet commerce site.  Five years ago I became involved with the daily painting movement - a collection of artists motivated to paint and post a painting every day of the week and some weekends as well.  Those familiar with this blog know that I failed miserably at the "daily" part. I did post 149 entries in 2008, less in 2009 and continued to fall off from there.  It's not that I couldn't have done something everyday but I didn't merely want to dash out a piece just for the sake of saying I showed up.  I think it's like Cal Ripken's continuous 2131 game streak or better yet, Lou Gehrig's.  It may be blasphemous to say but I suspect there were days when the manager put them in for one "at bat" just to keep the streak going.  I am going to miss my fellow painters at www.dailypainters.com.  Some of them were stellar and did manage to produce quality work on a more or less daily basis.  I endeavor to become more disciplined in the coming months.  Hopefully, with better time management, I can do both gallery work and some small pieces.  

It's fitting that my farewell piece is my boy Sammy looking wistfully out the studio window.

July 19, 2012

"Two Fox Hounds"

Oil on museum quality Ampersand Gessobord panel  - 8" x 10"

Still picking at this but I wanted to post something tonight.

July 15, 2012

"Hands" - The July 2012 Diana Moses Botkin Artist's Challenge

Oil on museum quality Ampersand Gessobord panel  - 8" x 8"

Challenge indeed!  This month's theme is "hands" - the bane of many a painter, myself included. Upon seeing this month's challenge theme, I had half a mind to paint the face of a clock.  After all, Diana didn't exactly specify what kind of hands. I suppose if it wasn't difficult or slightly "out of the box," it wouldn't be a challenge, would it?  Why is depicting the metacarpus so difficult?  Why are our paws so hard to portray?    I have often heard that the expression, "that will cost you an arm and a leg" was based on early portrait painters who charged the least amount for a bust, more for a painting that included the arms and hands, and yet more for a full length portrait.  Further research on the internet seems to debunk that explanation, but I am sticking with it. 

Here is another theory:
Adam told God he was lonely, so God said, "I will create a perfect companion for you who will always look after you, do all the house work, cook all the food, carry your children, look after you when you are sick, love and cherish you always. When you have an argument your companion will always be the first to say "I'm  sorry because you were right."
"That sounds too good to be true," said Adam.  "How much will this 
cost me, God?"
And God said, "An arm and a leg."
Then Adam said, "What can I get for a rib?"
And the rest is History.

Hands, often even more than faces, express a lot about a person.  Why is that, I wonder?  My mother was a particularly expressive, theatrical talker - her hands waving and gesticulating wildly as she spoke.  Yet even at rest, her slender hands proclaimed her style and grace.  

I would have loved to have had even just ten minutes with John Singer Sargent while he was painting the hands on one of his portraits.  Painted with an exiguous amount of strokes, they are almost abstract when you get right up on them.  The fluidity and expressiveness of his hands are almost too much for this artist to bear.    

Here are my  fellow challengees' mitts:

"Blue Egg"
Oil on hardboard 6"x6"
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin

"'lil Mama-San"
6x6" Oil on Linen
© V.N.Ross