"Everybody knows a work of art takes at least an hour!" Lucy to Linus, (Peanuts)

FineArtViews Painting Competition - Twice in the Fav 15%

http://canvoo.com/boldbrush/badge/13203 three times selected for FAV15%, Fine Art Views Bold Brush Painting Competition

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cooking at last

Today's session brought the painting to a "boil" so to speak. It is coming near to completion and standing back from it this afternoon I realized that it has a "wow" factor...I don't feel I get that often. The treatment of the fringe is turning out better than expected and I really like the intense red at the bottom and sides...I think I may just fade out the fabric pattern to allow a lot of that red to show. It helps to drive the eye upward also being out of focus. I need to get a new photo of Chica to work with...have to get those tail feathers right - they got cropped out of my original photos.  I'm happy!

One of my followers wrote to ask me about the line of the face meeting with the line of the parrot's head, edge to edge. It was bothering him. I think I posted some early drawings when I started this describing my decision to not have a space between the two heads and not to overlap the bird in front of the girl. Mary Cassatt, a favorite of mine, sometimes lined up edges of subjects in her work and I always was fascinated by the tension that caused. It breaks the "rule" of placement but aren't they meant to be broken sometimes? This is a case where it seemed the right option, at least to me.  Much as I have been willing to repaint and repaint, I am NOT going to reposition Chica.  I could go on about the relationship of Samanda to the bird and the joining of souls, whatever, but I was never good at second guessing my reasons for my choices. It just is.


  1. Words escape me....

    Not good for a writer, but I am also a fellow artist. You know how I feel about your incredible talent. I can't wait to see the final creation.

    Karen, I am really enjoying the whole process of your creation process.


  2. Great composition with lovely tones dress fall delicious, a great portrait with color balanced choice of spectacular. Greetings

  3. Beautiful Karen! Love watching the progression.

  4. You're right, those fringes are fantastic! This whole piece definitely has that "Wow!" factor. Kudos on a job well done.


  5. Wow factor indeed. Looks stunning from here!

  6. Oh my goodness, this is stunning! Love the patterned background and the wonderful satiny texture of the shawl. I also love the way the red background merges with the parrot. All in all one fantastic piece!

  7. Sorry to hear about the pets.

    Beautiful painting. I hadn't thought of anything insightful or witty to put in a comment when I looked at the post a few days ago though, so I was waiting to come back and browse again before leaving a comment. Well, here it is: It's a stunning piece and the step by step is much appreciated.

    Your ears might be burning because I had Michael Ward for dinner last night; he was modelling for life drawing here. Your name and your work came up, and he said how much he enjoys modelling for you. He's quite a raconteur and I always enjoy talking to him about well known west coast artists and their art etc. OK,I live a sheltered existence and I like gossip, but nothing untoward about you, Karen!

    I didn't get a chance to draw last night though, as I've been sick for two weeks and missed it again, going to bed early instead. Thanks for keeping in touch.

  8. Stunning. So glad Sandy Byers pointed me toward your blog.

  9. I just thought I'd add my two cents about placing the subjects heads so close. I'm a pet lover and for me there is NO division. The press of a cheek, or ear or whiskers, it shows love and trust. My cats do not stop at a polite distance from my body. They jump in laps, rub on legs, burrow in hair. Take a photo of us together and that's what you are going to see. You see the same thing with babies. Nose bumps, cheek presses, under the chin smoochies. I think it's one aspect that is lost when art is used to portray realism. Closeness (both emotional and physical) is usually sacrificed for a more pleasing spatial arrangement. People feel compelled to create a symmetry where there was none before.

  10. Emily thank you for your comment! Yes, I too think that sometimes realist art is overly concerned with composition to the detriment of the emotional connection between subjects. Samanda has an obvious deep affection for Chica (how can you help it? I've only been with the bird twice and I am totally in LOVE) and I like that it shows here.
    Clive, nice to hear from you and so sorry you aren't feeling well!! Be better soon...your students need you!

  11. Karen, it absolutely has the WOW factor! Stunning absolutely stunning!

  12. Hi there "You"!... Cooking "You" are too! All elements are really knitting together nicely! The back drop really adds a nice active quality and supportive element of colour... to your tranquil... quiet natural pose of subjects.

    "Rules" is just a word. In the creative process it inhibits expression. "Guide" might be a better substitute... indicates a choice to follow ... or not! HAHA!!

    In any case... Push on! I left you a further idea about the possible inclusion of Walnut Alkyd Medium to your artistic arsenal! Just an idea!

    Good painting!
    Warmest regards,