Friday, February 26, 2016

Learning to see

There is more to painting realistically than painting what you see. It actually involves constantly balancing and comparing what you see against what you know.

In a still life with a single, strong light source, we know that objects farthest away are in less light than those close up even if the difference is so subtle it can hardly be seen. This awareness is part of a conceptual model: the knowledge that depth is created when light is diminished as objects go back in space. Keeping this concept in mind helps artists create a more convincingly realistic painting.

How do I know this? It's one of many significant elements of painting that I learned studying the classical method of oil painting with Todd Casey. In addition to being an award winning artist, Todd is an experienced teacher with so much valuable information to share.

The pitcher below is a favorite subject of mine because I love the warmth of pewter and the soft reflections inherent to it. The earlier painting, on the left, has lots of interesting angles but none of the subtlety of the later version, which was my first piece working with Todd. I've learned a lot!
pewter pitcher, reflection, shine

If you'd like to study classical oil painting methods, you're in luck! Next month Todd will hold his first local workshop. This two-day, small group workshop will cover classical painting techniques and I'm happy to share the information, since so many artist friends have asked. So, if you're interested, check out this link or see below. The dates are March 12 & 13, right here in Somers, NY.

I first saw Todd's work in a feature article in Artist Magazine and was thrilled to learn that he lives in the area. In addition to his beautiful artwork, his credentials are impressive and I can't believe my good fortune to be able to learn from a master who has studied at Grand Central Academy of Art, Water Street Atelier and the Academy of Art University, as well as with many of the best representational artists living today including Jacob Collins, Max Ginsburg, Warren Chang, Camie Davis and Carlos Madrid.

This workshop is limited to a small group to allow for lots or personal interaction. If you'd like to participate, it would be best to email ASAP ( since I have a feeling it will fill up fast! Hope to see you at the studio!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

For love... of art

"Art is a form of love. Art is the ultimate gift. Art heals life."
Inspiring words from Robert Genn of the Painter's Keys, an art blog that supports artistic passion.

In honor of this Valentine's Day celebration of love, I'm thinking about how passion feeds art and art feeds the soul. Fine art, music, poetry... all arts are fueled by passion and when they touch you, it's magic.

Artists pretty much create work because they can't help it. We're passionate. The desire to capture an image or an emotion is enticing and somewhat addictive. When we find that our work makes other people feel something too, that's the icing on the cake.

It seems anything we do with love and passion, will be done well. Raising a child, playing a sport, making art...

No less a poet than Euripides said, "Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other." That was in 430 BC and 2000+ years later the Beatles got on the band wagon with "Love is all you need." Must be something to it. (Euripides also said, "Sooner would I stand three times to face their battles, shield in hand, Than bear one child." Wise man.)

Speaking of know you're not supposed to have a favorite and the same is true for artwork. Although, really, its hard not to - but the favorite changes all the time, so that's fair, right?!

Well, here are two of my favorite paintings and I'm pleased to say both are now bringing joy to happy collectors from NY to CA. I will have to come up with a few more!
vintage lunch box, still life, oil painting
Back to School, Back in the Day ©2014 Dorothy Lorenze
vintage vase, fabric pattern, garlic, book
The Three Graces ©2015 Dorothy Lorenze
I think the sculptor Auguste Rodin really summed up the importance of art, love and passion when he said, 
"The main thing is to be moved, 
to love, to hope, to tremble, to live."

Art brings joy or tears, action or laughter, but always depth of feeling when it moves us and that makes us feel alive. And feeling alive makes all things possible.

This Valentine's Day is predicted to be the coldest on record so lots of us are shivering, if not trembling (it's minus 6ยบ in NY at the moment). Get warm! Celebrate the day with love and passion, whatever form that takes for you. Because all we need is love. And art.

Happy Valentine's Day!

sweet hearts, candy, valentine's day, still life

Thanks for sharing the love with me on my creative journey.