Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Eggplant Escape

Four mini eggplants sitting on a table...
Along comes a frying pan. 
Two curious young'ns are dazzled by the shine and they take a peek. 
But the other two know what's coming and they're ready to roll...

Eggplant Escape by dorothy byers lorenze, 7/2012
Who could resist these guys! 

You never know where inspiration and opportunity will come from. Happily, my daughter's babysitter's Dad and home re-modeler (did you follow that?) is also an avid cook and gardener who likes to share his vegetable bounty. He gave Tara these wonderful, shiny, purple eggplants.

Of course her kids thought they could be put to better use in my studio. I have to agree!

So, thanks to Aim Improvements of Charlotte, these purple cuties have been memorialized in oil paint instead of, well, sauteed in olive oil!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

drawing improves your golf game, I swear!

(This is a re-post of an earlier blog that bears repeating because drawing is so important for the artistic process!)

drawing improves your golf game, I swear!

Well, it could. I've always suspected it was true. Because some of my artists friends are wizs at golf (miniature, that is). It's pretty much official and I'll tell you how I know...

But first - drawing from life is the most challenging, rewarding and mesmerizing artistic endeavor imaginable. However, in my experience its not always easy to find cooperative naked people. 
What's an artist to do?

One helpful (and safer!) solution is to go to the Met, or any great museum with classical sculptures, and work from marble or bronze versions of the human form. The bonus is observing the sculptor's skill in rendering subtle expression and the suppleness of skin in stone!!!!

drawing after Daniel Chester's sculpture, "Memory" Met Museum of Art, NY
Sometimes I like to get up close and personal (well, non-personal - they're sculptures) and focus on folds and details of drapery. Love the folds! The center image below was especially challenging! It features the gorgeous gathers of a Grecian garment! (say that 3x fast)

drawings after portions of various sculptures at the Metropolitan Museum  ©2008 Dorothy Lorenze
Following the twists and turns and ins and outs, as the fabric gathers and folds and changes direction is like negotiating a labyrinth!

So that brings me back to sports. Both art and athletics involve checking direction, measuring distances and hand-eye coordination. And here's the story that makes it official.

In college, non-art majors occasionally decide that drawing nude models is not a bad way to get some humanities credits. But it's pretty difficult if you haven't done much drawing. There was a student once who happened to be more athlete than artiste. In fact he was a star of the basketball team. But he was also working diligently in our life drawing class.

After a few weeks in the studio his drawing was getting better and the instructor looked over his shoulder and asked. "How's basketball going?" He was surprised by the question and answered, "Actually, really, really well!" So the drawing teacher said, "I'm not surprised. You're beginning to see better."

That was it. I'd never made the connection with sports before but drawing is basically about observing and measuring. It carries over to sports... hence the amazing ability of artists to totally crush the competition at miniature golf. It's legendary.

So if you need to improve your golf game, (and from what I hear, who doesn't) get thee to a drawing class! If you can find one with live models, au naturale,... well that's just an awesome bonus!

You don't have to go back to college to take a class. Check out "meet-ups" online to find a life drawing group that meets in your area. The group leader hires the model and artists register and pay a nominal fee to attend. It's a wonderful way to hone your skills for fine art.

If it helps your golf game, all the better.

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Review of Grumbacher MAX Water-Mixable Oil Colors

Originally submitted at Jerry's Artarama Art Supplies

Artists' Oils That Mix With Water! These oils have a rich buttery consistency with the same feel and performance as conventional oils. The difference is they may be thinned and cleaned with water. Due to their modern formulation, MAX colors provide you with a permanent non-yellowing white. You ...

traditional oil quality, easy clean up

By dorothylorenze from Somers, NY on 7/23/2012


5out of 5

Pros: Blends beautifully, Good Color Variety, Glides Smoothly

Best Uses: Fine art, Art

Describe Yourself: Artist

Primary use: Business

Was this a gift?: No

Great paints that work like traditional oils but without the toxic solvents. Same consistency, excellent color choices.
Blends just like oils, dries perhaps slightly faster than traditional oils.
I love working with these oils!

Admiring Tomatillos, www.dorothylorenze.com


Tags: Made with Product

Red Onion Siesta, www.dorothylorenze.com


Tags: Made with Product


Thursday, July 19, 2012

this little "figgy"...

went to the market...

"Fig 'n' Friends" oil on linen by Dorothy Lorenze

...and he hooked up with some new friends!

You may think he lost his marbles, but no!
Being a modern, enlightened fig, he appreciated the complexity of color and variety of inner swirl within his new friends.

And it didn't hurt that they reflected well on him!

What reflects well on you? Maybe your art collection?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

summertime, and the living is...?

But it's all good. And I'm so lucky to be able to spend my time doing what I love: making art as well as connecting with family and friends, old and new.

This week I will meet a very new friend: Produce Pete of WNBC's Weekend Today in New York when I present my painting of asparagus to Pete on his TV show Saturday morning. It's on NBC between 9 and 10am and I hope you will tune in.
(I'll be the nervous one)

Pete knows everything about the seasonal vegetables that I love (maybe he'll tell me something  fascinating about the paper-encased tomatillos that I'm about to paint!)
On Saturday mornings Pete frequently brings my attention to something yummy and gorgeous.

"Tribute to Produce Pete"
This painting is one of my favorites. It was inspired by a segment of Pete's show that I've blogged about. It's called "Tribute to Produce Pete" and I'm honored, and excited, and nervous, and amazed... in any order you choose... to have the opportunity to show my painting on air!

In an effort to extend this serendipity beyond the walls of my studio, I'll be donating 20% of all painting sales throughout the summer to two wonderful, grassroots organizations:
Edge of Seven
Good for Kids

Both are volunteer-based organizations founded by folks who  passionately create environments that build self-esteem where it's needed most.
They personally invest love, sweat and tears to give children the chance for education.

They are ordinary people who are extraordinarily committed to the fine art of doing good!

Edge of Seven, founded by Erin, my daughter's friend, brings volunteers to remote regions of Nepal to actually BUILD schools and other infrastructure designed to empower girls in a part of the world where education for girls, traditionally, is not a priority, to say the least. Take a look at their website and see the amazing opportunities created for children in the mountains of Nepal!

photo by Rachael Grace Photography

Good for Kids, a program my friend Gail helps facilitate, provides a safe refuge as well as education opportunities for girls within a very dangerous area of LaCarpio, Costa Rica. When our local teachers learned of this refugee camp where 35,000 of the country's poorest families live in squalid conditions, they just had to help. Ever since, they have been raising funds, raising awareness and raising standards of health and education for so many!

We all know how important education is to the future of our own children but these organizations offer something more basic and far more precious:
It's a word we use everyday with little thought of the desperation and despair that take over when there is NO hope.

So I hope that you will help brighten the lives of children who could use a dose of good, old-fashioned, ordinary, hope-FULLness! Go to the websites of Good for Kids and Edge of Seven to make a direct donation or buy a painting this summer and I will send 20% of your purchase, in your name, to your choice to either Good for Kids or Edge of Seven.
"Hope Box"

Sunday, July 1, 2012

painting metal with mettle

Recently a friend gave me this great copper/brass/metal planter. It's kind of tarnished and the metal could be brass or bronze - who knows. All I know is it's a great color with a fascinating and frustrating metallic finish that reflects, glows and holds deep shadows!!! Challenging!

Deep red/purple plums added the perfect compliment and contrast to this rich surface.
Above is the first pass at laying in color.

This stage is more fully developed with stronger modeling of the plums and highlights.

I actually thought it was finished! But then wasn't quite happy with the metal-ness of the pot.

And I've learned that if something's bugging me - it has to be fixed!

You know, I really had no idea what would make this pot look metallic rather than clay-like. Which is why it was almost OK to focus on the parts that were working and be done. Almost.
Going back to surface of the metal feels like something of a milestone. A test of "mettle." Because even though I didn't know how to do it, I kept going because I believed I could. Phew, that is a huge shift for me.

I hope I have succeeded in rendering the character of the metal as well as the juiciness of the plums. Here is the finish painting - the more I looked, the more interesting reflections shadows and subtle color changes were apparent. It was fascinating to find what I hadn't seen before!

FYI - the other difficulty making this painting was NOT eating the plums. They looked so luscious! Happy to say, the painting is definitely done because the props are being eaten! So sweet and juicy. Insides ia a gorgeous deep purple - hope I get to paint a cut plum before they are all eaten.