Saturday, November 14, 2015


Once again, I must confess, I painted two more portraits based on photographs from friend’s Facebook posts.  Unprincipled!  Unscrupulous!  Lacking respect!  Alas, I’m guilty as charged.  My only defense — how could any sane person resist the obvious delight of the “models”— Jilly and Brooke.  

I based Jilly on a photo by Grace Wolf, beginning it last summer.  I soon reached what I thought was the conclusion — except for the background.  I “high fived" myself for a job almost well done.  But wait!, what to do with the background seemed as elusive as an Ivory-billed woodpecker in Arkansas.

So, I photographed her and, with the aid of Adobe’s Photoshop Elements, created several picture packages — you know, the kind your 3rd-grade teacher gave you to take home for approval when your class pictures were passed out.  I hand colored each image with different background colors and themes.  Bingo!  My chief advisor, Karen, gave her approval for one concept.

Enter, fear!  What if…?  So I set Jilly up in my studio while I contemplated Karen's suggested background.  Months passed.  Finally, feeling unusually brave one day I dove in to finish the project.  YIKES!  I rubbed it out.  More time.  Finally, D day arrived and in two bold sessions, Jilly emerged.  Now, my number one and two critics, Karen and John McCabe said “NO, Jilly’s chin needs more work.”  Sigh!  More sessions, and as is my norm, once I modified one area, I ended up reworking her entire face.  “No!”  More sessions.  Karen suggested it might be my developing cataracts.  And then Karen proclaimed “Stop. Jilly is done.”

                                         Jilly    12x12 inches   Alkyd on Canvas  Private Collection

I didn’t have that kind of time for Brooke.  I had a deadline.  Her grandparents are moving out of Petersburg and handing it to them to deal with is so much easier than mailing art — the anxiety of wondering what creative way the postal service might find to convince me it was lost until, surprise, they delivered it. 

                                       Delight   12x12 inches   Alkyd on Canvas   Private Collection

Now, I’m delighted to say “Jilly" and “Delight” are out of my studio and, hopefully have found good homes.