The challenge of capturing children

Finding simple things to do in these days of staying at home a lot. Drawing and painting has been my #1 go-to, since it’s easily done within your home with just a minimum of space. “Simple” may not be an accurate description, maybe “elemental” is more like it. It feels direct, and the outcome is entirely up to you.

A few months ago, I participated in 30faces30days from sktchy art school. One day we were presented with the face of a baby—a difficult subject! You might think it would be easy, but to keep the lines brief and accurate, to show the sweetness is very difficult, at least for me. “There is no growth without pain” they say; this was pretty tolerable in the pain department, though hopefully enough to learn something.

I got through that one, and it inspired me to try some in oil paint as well.

Above is the baby’s face from sktchy. So droll, the old man look for sure.
A baby with fun hair, this one in oils.

July 30faces30days-completed

July #30faces30days from Sktchy was an awesome way to learn more about procreate and drawing the human face. To see them “closer up” check out my sketching instagram @2minuteeggs. Sktchy has a session each month, with great teachers. I loved all the different styles, some specializing in cross-hatching, some gouache, cartoon or comic style, or a restricted color palette. It was sometimes hard to get started on the day’s drawing, and it was interrupted by five days out of town, but I got through it!

collage of 29 of 30 sketches.

30 faces closer to 500!

de Young Museum invitation

I am delighted to announce that my painting was selected for the de Young Museum’s #ThedeYoungOpen, a celebration of local artists for their 125th anniversary. Artists in the nine Bay Area counties were invited to participate in this salon-style exhibition, which will happen…soon. So much is unknown right now, but hopefully it WILL open and we will get to tour the artworks in person! For those of you in the SF Bay Area, I will post it here when I find out, or keep up on their opening date here https://deyoung.famsf.org/safety-guidelines

Sorry if some of you see more then once, as I have other places to post…

de Young Open acceptance notification.
self-portrait
I originally did this selfie for a chance to win a workshop with Art Escape Italy.

Online Group Show at the O’Hanlon Center

I am honored to be included in the O’Hanlon Center’s online group show of self-portraits — “Me to Myself”. The O’Hanlon Center for the Arts is continuing, despite the current circumstances, to exhibit artists and connect people in many ways. The center is in Mill Valley, California, and the show starts today June 8, 2020.

View the show here: https://www.ohanloncenter.org/exhibits/current/

show graphic: Me to Myself

day 10. Black Lives Matter

I celebrate all those who have raised their voices and put themselves out there to support the African-American community, and our whole community! How can ANY of us feel safe if ANY of us are NOT safe? We are all one. 

One protester’s sign—

“We didn’t come this far to only come this far”

From an artist’s perspective, “black” people have always been beautiful to me. For one, there are so many different shades and tones, it’s endlessly interesting. The first portrait I ever painted was from my imagination of what a beautiful person would look like: an African woman (in Africa, of course). 

So, here, I revisited that theme and painted another African person, a man this time. He was in a story about a man starting a video “theater” in his home town where few had tv’s and there were no movie houses.  A hero of entertainment!

painting of an African man
Ciné

face 52 the Scotsman

While painting by the River Tweed with some friends last fall, which seems 3 decades ago, a fisherman kindly lent us a couple of chairs so we wouldn’t have to sit on the ground. He said he had been fishing in that spot for 40 years or so.

Scots fisherman
Scots fisherman

Art Escape Italy challenge

Art Escape Italy recently presented a self-portrait-during-the-lockdown challenge. If you won, you would get a free workshop in Italy in 2021. What’s not to like about that?! I had been to one of their plein air workshops in 2016, so I knew they chose quality instructors and great venues. This was a “stretch goal” for me, to accept the Art Escape Italy challenge, but I figured it was worth it, since the worst that could happen was nothing and the best that could happen was to win a workshop!

It was fun to try, and my first selfie in oils. Although it makes a lot of sense to paint yourself, it doesn’t always feel comfortable as it feels narcissistic or something, so I haven’t done it much. If you don’t want to bother people to sit for even a photograph, much less an actual painting, you yourself are always there…  

They had about 150 entries. I did not win, but was close! The winner was a stand-out and I admire that portrait. Here’s Art Escape Italy’s blog post.

Micaela Marsden self-portrait
selfie 2020

face 51

I think this is as far as I will go with this one, as there is a flaw in the paper. Why is it so hard to photograph white paper? I could increase the contrast in a photo-editing program, but then all the grays would be lost, so that doesn’t seem like a good solution.

the eyes have it. Pencil portrait.
the eyes have it