Sunday, January 27, 2013

Play It Again, Sam.

It's a rainy, chilly Sunday, perfect for studio work.  Here's Sam following two additional days effort.
I've got to get busy on his shirt.  It looks like he should find a new dry cleaner or stop mopping his floors with it.  In person, it's dark gray with a bit of a pattern.  Probably too challenging for my old eyes and nerves to do, but I will come up with something!  Be patient Sam!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sam, Today

Sam's is the final portrait I'll be doing here in Portland.  He's a good friend and original member of the "Old Guy Gab Fest", held Friday afternoons at my studio in the old Board of Trade building in downtown Portland for most of the past two years.
Now...let me say--no--scream...WORK-IN-PROGRESS!  Lots of work to be done here, but I'm not too proud to let you have a look.  Suffice to say, the next time you see this painting, you probably won't recognize it.
Sam Sadler, oil on canvas, 20 x 16-inches

On many a Friday, several highly intelligent, politically astute members of what I consider to be the city's elite, would congregate in my small studio space to discuss the issues of the day and enjoy a glass or two of delightful Italian wine, good cheese and excellent bread from the bakery of "Pazzo", a fine Italian restaurant located nearby.

Sam is a veteran, not only of our navy, but also of the battle to forge the future of green energy policy here in the great state of Oregon.  He continues to fight the good fight in our building, serving on the Rules Committee at The Portland Plaza.  He's forgotten more than most of us will ever know about most everything, including all things French.  He loves Paris (but who doesn't) most of all and visits the City of Light on an annual basis.

Sam beat me up pretty badly about three weeks ago when he first say the painting.  He said it made him look drained of blood and deceased for at least two months.  What could I say to that?  He was correct, of course, so I tried to explain that gray was an artist's most important color.  He gave me a highly skeptical look, so I asked him, "What color are the shadows on my face right now?"  He had to admit that the shadows he saw were, in fact, gray. 

His admission did little to change his attitude about the painting.  So, fast forward to today.  Our weather was nice--in the low-50's--so I went on a personal best, nearly seven mile jog.  Afterward, I decided to phone Sam and invite him to see the painting and join me for an "at home" version of the Old Guy Gab Fest.

Sam called me back and agreed to come over following his own workout in our fitness center.  So, late this afternoon, we drank a lot of wine, enjoyed cheese and he got to see the latest version of his portrait.  He was pleased with what he saw and acknowledged it's a work-in-progress.  We then moved on to a discussion of the issues of the day.  Soon, Michele arrived.  She was pleasant, but knows better than to pay any attention to our semi-ubriaco blather and proceeded to prepare a most  delicious tortilla soup.  So, a wonderful dinner capped our day and Sam departed with a full belly and feeling pretty good about his portrait.  I hope your day was half as good.   

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sue, Today.

The old saying, "The more things change, the more they stay the same", may apply to Sue's portrait.  If you go back to earlier posts of it, you'll see I'm right back at the beginning, with respect to the background.

The original idea was to try to match their "antique copper" wall color.  You can see how long that lasted and the multiple changes to just about everything else in this painting.  Her hair has been "dyed" more than the law should allow.  At any rate, areas which will continue to be closely examined for possible improvement include:  Her necklace, which is only roughed-in as of this photo, her hair--of course--her vest and turtleneck, her smile and teeth just to name the obvious.

I do believe it's the best it has yet been.  BUT...tomorrow is another day.  Another opportunity to make the best marks ever seen on canvas.  Don't laugh...we are only limited by our imaginations and I don't know about you, but my dreams are Big!  Have a nice weekend everybody.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sue's Eyes

Yes, it's all about her eyes.  For a long time, her eyes just didn't seem quite right.  Not way off, but enough to bug me.  Honestly, it was driving me crazy.  No one who saw the painting said anything, but I knew it was time to play ophthalmologist. 

Here's the corrected version and it's now evident that she's looking at us.  Pay no attention to the many additional errors evident in this close-up.  Tomorrow is another day and you know I'll be back at the easel making more corrections.  Have a good day everybody.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pat, Today.

Work has been steadily continuing on the three portraits I'm trying to finish before we move and we're now down to only about sixty more days before the movers take our stuff.  The excitement is beginning to build and it's becoming increasingly difficult to fall asleep at night.  It seems like there are about a million-and-one things to consider and it's not unusual for some of those thoughts to prompt a jump out of bed and scribbled "note to self".
Pat, work-in-progress, oil on canvas, 20 x 16-inches.

Anyway, today I thought Pat was beginning to look more like the Pat I see in the reference photo, so I invited her here to have a look and then sent it home with her.  She's a painter, too, and I'm looking forward to listening to her critique and ideas to improve it.  As we look at the painting, I know her right eye needs more work and I'll be taking the values lower on the left side of her face.  Her left earring is too bright and a bunch of other areas need fixing, too.  I'm sure you all can see additional flaws, only a few of which are camera-induced.  So, what the heck, since she got to see it, I thought, you should, too.  I hope everyone out there had a pleasant night's sleep!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Anita, Sue and Pat Today.

Work continues in the effort to complete several portraits prior to our move, finally set for the third week of March.  I visited Anita and Sue today, to show them Sue's portrait.  They gave me some additional good feedback and I came home with both Sue's and Anita's portraits.  I promised I'd varnish Anita's and now have a first coat on it.  Sue's will need more work and I hope it has sufficient drying time so I can properly finish it before we depart.
Anita, 2012, oil on canvas, 30 x 24-inches
Sue, work-in-progress, oil on canvas, 30 x 24-inches.

Pat's still is in-work, but I've mustered up the courage to show you.  It has had a complete makeover from the one posted a couple of months ago and has a ways to go yet.
Pat, work-in-progress, oil on canvas, 20 x 16-inches.

It has been a little easier to concentrate now that we know our departure date.  I hope you had a good day.