Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Muscoot Art Show Thanks!

It's been a month since the close of my art show at Muscoot Farm. I've finally sent off the last sold paintings and finished post-show details so I want to take a moment to express my deepest appreciation to everyone who took the time to visit the exhibit. It was such a pleasure to meet and chat with so many new art lovers and old friends!
Oilcan Gothic ©2013Dorothy Lorenze
The historic Manor House Gallery at Muscoot Farm is a beautiful space and it was the perfect setting for my show, especially since many of the paintings feature antique and  vintage objects!

People came from far and wide, so it was nice to be able to introduce them to Muscoot Farm as well!

And you never know what will happen at Muscoot. There was a film shoot for Orange Is The New Black while my paintings were on display. I got an urgent email that someone from the production was interested in two paintings!

Good news / bad news: both paintings were already sold. That's actually the bad news and the good news. It was a wonderfully successful show. Between attendees, online promotion (website, blog, facebook) and print publicity more than half the paintings sold! And I was able to make a large donation to Muscoot Farm as a percentage of sales.

Thank you to everyone who visited. For those I didn't meet, thank you for taking the time to write a note in my journal. It's truly wonderful to have so many supporters! During the past month more art enthusiasts have signed up for my blog and more than 2000 now follow my Facebook page. It means a great deal to me that so many folks are interested in spending their time viewing and  commenting on my artwork.
Please know that your kind words warm my heart ... and fire up my paint brush!

Thanks for joining me on my painting journey!

Friday, October 24, 2014

More STUFF doesn't always mean more art

Years ago my kids were playing with their cousins, gathering odd bits of wood and old stuff to make something. In total frustration my nephew, Jon, said, "I just know I could build a real rocket if I had enough metal!!!"

I don't know about you, but I've often thought that having enough stuff meant I could do more. I guess it has to do with some form of intention, or the idea of being "ready." Or maybe it's because we come from "hunters and gatherers."

My version of Jon's frustration goes something like this:
     If I had the right workout clothes, I would exercise more...
     If I buy enough art supplies, I can be more creative...

Sound familiar? I have to remind myself that more stuff doesn't necessarily translate to more productivity. Truly, you have to "Just do it." So I'm gathering less and painting more. Although to be honest, I still enjoy the hunt for perfect still life objects. Below is the still life cupboard in my studio chock full of vintage finds and quirky crap.

Clearly, I have plenty of stuff already. The trick is to avoid that tipping point where pressure to paint each and every blessed thing in the collection brings guilt!

Still, you never know what will inspire!

Thrifty Pig & Pot ©2012 Dorothy Lorenze
Betty's Painting Book ©2014 Dorothy Lorenze

This Thrifty Pig & Pot was painted for a friend featuring her whimsical, vintage objects.

Betty's Painting Book is a an original coloring book from 1917. I'm thinking it must have been a creative starting point for someone back then!

Thanks for joining me on my painting journey!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Inner Space Inner Peace

I'm enjoying the challenge of painting interiors lately. And it just so happens that I'm also enjoying staying in a beautiful interior so that works out pretty well for me!

Below is the sitting room area of a beautiful Victorian bedroom. It's not quite finished (missing knobs on doors and drawers). Maybe some other minor tweaking but you can see where it's going.

My Victorian Vacation @2014 Dorothy Lorenze

Why do I find this so challenging? Because I need to work looser than my usual level of realism in still life paintings. So the challenge is to imply patterns rather than paint every petal of the carpets cabbage roses! In theory, that's fine because it's meant to be a glimpse into a space evoking a feeling... whether it's comfort or solitude, warmth or desolation. It's usually the light, windows or doors that begin to tell a story or create a mood. Not the actual details, like botanical prints. (I had to squint hard to not paint those herb prints!)

To remind myself that looser interiors can be beautiful, emotional and fulfilling I go back to some of my favorites, which maybe more abstracted, but just luscious with light and color. Works like these by Édouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard inspire me. Simply gorgeous! (well, maybe not quite so simple!)

Thanks for joining me on my painting journey!

Édouard Vuillard's Woman Before a Window
Pierre Bonnard's Interieur



Saturday, October 4, 2014

Imagine a Roomfull of Exquisite Drawings

John Pence Gallery in San Francisco is described as "one of the premier academic realist galleries in the U.S." Their website states that the gallery is "Primarily known for its strong stable of living academic realists..." On a recent visit this was very much in evidence.

Their exhibit, Drawings, was a feast of perfect graphite images by some of the most amazing contemporary artists, including -

  Juliette Aristides        Sherrie McGraw
  Jacob Collins             Edward Minoff
  Emma Hirst               Travis Schlaht
  Jonathan Koch           Sadie Valerie
  David A. Leffel           Leah Waichulis
  Robert Liberace         Patricia Watwood

...and many more.

Below, left to right, are examples by Edward Minoff, Sadie Valerie and Carl Dobsky.

photo courtesy of John Pence Gallery

photo courtesy of John Pence Gallery
The level of detail in all these works was mind-boggling and at the same time they were exquisitely sensitive images.

To the right is "Tantrum," an expressive drawing by Luis Enrique Lantigua Dominguez, part of the exhibit and featured in an article on Drawings in Fine Art Connoisseur.

I have honestly never seen so many outstanding drawings in one place. Individually, these intricate and delicately prepared images were amazing. Taken as a whole, the exhibit was a rare tribute to the fine art of drawing, the skill that best prepares any artist. And perhaps a golfer, as I may have mentioned with tongue slightly in cheek!

In his quintessential book on the subject, The Natural Way to Draw, Kimon Nicolaides states "The sooner you make the first five thousand mistakes, the sooner you'll be able to correct them." Well, it's hard to imagine that these accomplished artists have made many mistakes. I'm going to take comfort in the fact that we all have a learning curve. If the way to Carnegie Hall is practice, practice, practice the way to John Pence Gallery must be drawing, drawing, drawing!