Tuesday, December 24, 2013

treasures and keepsakes

The crazy, hectic, frantic part of the holiday is over - let the festive and fantastic part begin! Time to relax, savor the fruits of your labor and enjoy the company of family and friends. And be thankful. Once again, my heartfelt thanks go to all of you who have supported my creative journey with your kind comments. I hope this holiday season brings you more joys than toys and you treasure memories with those whose smiles warmed your heart throughout the year.

Merry Christmas!

This is my first official Christmas painting and the subject is a family keepsake. A holiday painting is something I have always wanted to do, but never got around to. You know how it is at this busy time of year. Adding an oil painting to the seasonal preparations was never quite doable. The answer, this year, was to bake less and paint more! Not a bad trade-off in my book.

Somehow when you put something off and then finally get around to it, there seems to be more pressure to do a good job. (or is that just me?!) Well, it took awhile to come up with a composition, but I'm happy I chose these ornaments. They are real childhood keepsakes - perfect for the sentiment of the season. The red one is actually from my father's Christmas tree when he was a boy! Even though it's a bit tarnished, it's always been my favorite.

Christmas 1945, 8x8" oil on canvas panel © 2013 Dorothy Lorenze

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Painterly Village

Among the shopping-wrapping-gifting-deliveries, frames arrived! So I took a break to dress up these studies in their new finery and set up my painterly version of a gingerbread village.

These are the most recent small poster studies for my paintings. They are meant to be roughly blocked-in color studies that indicate value and color in a poster-like way. Master painters like Ted Seth Jacobs and Tony Ryder (and my painting guru, Todd Casey) use this step in their representational painting as a prep for the real painting. And their work is amazing so you know it's time well spent!

But the studies are supposed to be quick, rough and slightly abstracted. I'm not so good at rough, abstract or quick. Details are so hard to ignore! Maybe it's a carryover from graphic design where every point, pica and pixel makes a difference. (or a painter's version of micro-managing?) Whatever. I tend to get "involved" and end up with mini paintings. Hence this painterly village.

I may try to work looser, but for now it's good to work this way. Time spent on studies is time spent observing and becoming better acquainted with the subject. It helps to discover subtle variations that distinguish an object.

And it's kind of a test. Like speed dating. (Not that I have personal knowledge of such things.) But think of it this way: if it's no fun to spend a relatively short time on a small painting then why paint a large version of the subject? Now that may not be what Ted Seth Jacobs had in mind, but I think it's a good point! So far all my test studies have progressed to larger canvases.

Grey Roseville ©2013 Dorothy Lorenze, 8x16"
While the "grown-up" versions of these paintings are available in galleries (in Guilford, Bedford, Croton Falls) and online, the little ones are hanging out with me in the studio as a reminder of recent compositions that made me smile.

Just like old friends.

The is "Grey Roseville" and the larger 8x16" oil on linen can be purchased from my studio. Please email if you are interested. The little study is not for sale as it has joined the family of my painterly village for the time being.

Note: the small frames are from Custom Frame Solutions, an excellent online source for quality frames at reasonable prices.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

in "other" artistic news -

Painting is sort of on the back burner this week because choral practice is taking precedence. So, if hectic holiday preparations are stressing you out, come enjoy some serene classical music to celebrate the season this weekend.  I promise, you will feel comfort and joy!

Saturday December 7 at 8pm

Valhalla Methodist Church

Sunday December 8 at 4 pm

Trinity Episcopal Church, Ossining

http://taghkanicchorale.org/One of my favorites from this concert was written in 1502. Imagine that! The elegantly simple, chant-like Ave Maria, Gratia Plena by Josquin Deprez, ends with this sweet request of Mary: "memento mei" (remember me). Here's a link to Tallis Scholars singing this beautiful piece. They have 27,000+ views. Maybe Taghkanic Chorale will do as well. Our Music Director Steven Fox manages to get a pretty angelic sound from us mere mortals!

To reserve tickets call 914.737.6707 or email me before Friday and they will be held for payment at the door.

And, just so you know I'm not slacking off in my other fine art arena...
here is a small study of more books which will soon be a larger, more refined 16" x 12"  oil painting. I'm excited about the old peeling spine on the lower books and about adding patterned fabric to this one! Such fun!