Sunday, February 28, 2010

8 on 80...

Charcoal on paper
14 x 11"

This is another of my portraits from the forthcoming book, 8 on 80 - written by Kim Wyatt, and published by Bona Fide Books. This amazing woman is in her 80's, still skis as often as the sun shines (which in Tahoe is a lot!) and is just an inspiration. She has the most beautiful skin, which you notice when you sit and draw someone for an hour whilst they're being interviewed. She also knits amazingly complex sweaters, one of which she was sporting for the interview. I couldn't possibly do it justice in a quick sketch, so an implication of the stitchwork on her shoulders was all I did.

It's always a little nerve-wracking, showing someone their portrait after struggling with movement, gesticulation and shifting light. Drawing someone whilst they're talking is great because they're more animated than if you labour over a formal portrait for hours, days, or weeks - but it's not without challenge. I realise when I'm doing this how much I rely on studio lights to create exciting forms and contrast. Without that sort of control, and the pressure to create a believable likeness in a very short amount of time...well, it keeps me on my toes!

So the 'ta-da!' moment arrived after the interview was finished, and I turned around my sketchpad to show the sitter her portrait. My 80-something year old sitter simply said, "You made me look old."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Private Tuition Available from March 2010

Wild Iris and Mount Tom, Bishop
Watercolour & Pastel
22 x 30"

Starting in March, I'll be tutoring adults and children at my studio in California. For kids, materials will be included, and we can work on coursework or anything else they'd like to try.

For adults, a no-pressure, supportive environment in which to learn, or refine artistic skills. I'll be offering still life, portraiture, figure drawing and painting from the model, critique service and in the warmer months, plein air painting around the Lake Tahoe area. Adults will provide their own materials, but I can help you select and order whatever you'll need.

Rates: $30 Per hour for children, $45 per hour for adults. Models are an extra $12 per hour with a two hour minimum.

I'm willing to travel to your home at extra cost if you are unable to make it to my studio.

If you are interested in private tuition (one or two people maximum) please email me at for more details.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Studio sale

Pitcher & Peaches
Oil on Panel

This painting is for sale on Ebay

I'm having a studio sale of small works, all at rock bottom prices. You can bid on these little collectibles by clicking on the link above.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Self Portrait 2010

Self Portrait 2010
Oil on Panel
6 x 6"

I've been a little blocked lately, so this is what I do when I can't face painting for a while. Self portraits aren't always about vanity, and sometimes aren't even about soul-searching. When I'm blocked, this is the perfect thing for me to do. I don't have to worry about a model, sales, or whether anyone else will like it. I do it for me, an exercise. I'm a familiar subject, but I've changed since last time I did this, so that's always interesting...and a little revealing too!