Thursday, July 9, 2015

Portrait Of An Actress

It's been thirty+ years since I've been a professional portrait painter, and haven't looked back.  That is, until a friend recently asked me to do her portrait for a one-woman performance series next year, an image that may be printed on posters advertising her show.  This is a mixture of her face and that of her character, the great Lillian Carter.  At any rate, it was a pleasure to create it, an interesting challenge, and I'm enjoying the result. 

I chose Stonehenge Kraft paper, watercolor base, and conte crayon sticks for the project.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Castle Garden, A Year Later

It was almost like skipping off to visit a familiar old friend again, that's how energized I was by the thought of snuggling back into one of my favorite gardens. I accompanied Jim again to Port Townsend for his twice-monthly allergy shots last week, and left him at the clinic for Manresa Castle garden across the street. It felt much like the garden gave a sigh as I wandered in and found a stone-topped table under the trees.  It was the opposite side of the garden from last year's sketch I'd done in August, viewing the fountain from the other end.  

It was a sloppy beginning, hard to capture the curves of the pathway with a pen. Tough to gauge how prominently the tree trunks would figure into my composition.  Maybe I could do some pruning?  On paper, of course. What will I leave out, and what will I showcase?  And how do I get the wet colors to run smoothly, when the dry breeze was determined to dry them instantly.

Just as I began inking in the fountain in the center, a large raven landed in it, with much fanfare.  It glanced around from side to side before stepping delicately into the water and indulging in an incredibly messy bath.  I've never seen a raven bathe before.  Much less water conservation than a finch!  It was sopping wet in no time (as were the nearby plants), and hopped out, flapping off into a tree. The whole affair was wonderfully entertaining, and no one witnessed it but me.