The painting surface I use - archival sanded paper formulated to trap the pastel pigment - is harsh. Cold. It intimidates me before it’s broken in.
Being a lover of beautiful letters strung together to form words led me in my longtime dance with calligraphy. For many years, calligraphy was my artistic focus. Though it has taken a backseat in deference to my passion for face and figure, it has never left my process. Oftentimes I begin with choosing a quote, a scripture, or descriptive words that I feel fit Subject's persona. Then I write them, sometimes legibly and sometimes not, letting them warm up that toothy sandpaper (and me). What was a blank sheet of intimidating paper becomes a more friendly 'canvas' to begin the journey of pursuing Subject's essence. The writing becomes a part of the background texture.
Sometimes the text can be sensed. Many times not; though I know it's there, and it comforts me.
One Lamp - Thy Mother's Love amid the stars shall lift its pure flame changeless, and before the throne of God, burn through eternity -Holy - as it was lit and lent thee there. Nathaniel Parker Willis.
One Lamp Ashley and Hylie 14 x 12
Hope Swann 11x14
For the Love of Laura 11x14
My CB 11x14
For Danny: In Memory of His Sister, Libby 11x14
Somewhere Out There 8x10
Fragrance of a Newborn 11x14
Dan...Just Like That; He Left 11x14
So Much Love: Jeri and Freida 14x11
Delivery Afterglow 11x11
Mary Reflecting 10 x 8
Gypsy Crone: Spain 14x11
My Pal Joe 7x5
Pamela Kaye of the Milky Way 5x7
Pam: My Old Same 5x7
KayBird: The Kiss 7x5
Ty Julian 7x5
Going For A Drive 11x14
Francoise in Iran: Visitor at School 11x14
When I began drawing and painting again, I had three good reasons: My grandkids Morrigan, Elijah, and Maeve - then ages 8, 8, and 6; respectively. Wanting to paint them gave me the impetus to keep on keeping on. Being the offspring of talented parents with creative inclinations of their own, The Three were already artistically seasoned. They and I started a memorable endeavor in 2008. They modeled for a children’s fairy book created by my writer friend, Barb. Her story, THE PESKIES, was inspired by my grands’ special relationship with our beloved neighbor, Mary Parker, who was 90-something at the time.
The adventure of THE PESKIES went on through most of that year with illustrations being done using enhanced digital photography. They (and I) ate, drank, and slept their characters - Ticker, Duggle, and Pilliwiggin. With experience under their belts in costuming, photo shoots, and holding poses, they took to the tedium of my life drawing sessions, more costumes, and more shoots like ducks take to water. They taught me. I'm grateful for The Three and their humoring the whims of me, their Tutu.
Mattie: As soon as I saw you I knew an adventure was going to happen. Winnie the Pooh 11x14
So Jung 14x11
High Flutin' 13x17
Is is only a tool. A tool forged from the metals of the earth. From silver. From gold. Fashioned by history. Crafted by masters. A tool that shapes mood and culture. It enraptures. Sometimes distracts. Exhilarates. Soothes. Sings and weeps. Now take up the tool and sculpt music from the air. ORIGIN UNKNOWN
How's This, Tutu? 18x12
Maeve & Addy 11 x 14
So Yeon 11x14
Elijah as Darth 14x12
Dressed Up With No Place to Go 14x11
'Son' Going Down on Folly Beach 11x14
In the Pink 14x11
Cinder Girl 14x11
Morri with Dressmaker Duff 14x11
Our Garden Fairy 7x5
I love these little people, and it is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us. Charles Dickens 11x14
Morrigan Alice 16x12
Maeve Amalthea 16x12
Sister Act 12x16
Luke on a Mission 8x10
Tulips and Blue 5x7
Work to be Done 7x5
Hats by Jean 7x5
Sunday on Hickory Nut Farm 8x10
The Cartwright Class
I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. Jeremiah 31:3
The Cartwright Class is a group of mentally/physically challenged adults - an integral part of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Asheville NC. It was the inspiration of teacher and artist Helen Medford Cartwright whose daughter was born with special needs. Now, 40 years later, the Cartwright Class is still a thriving ministry because of the continued love and devotion of their dedicated church family. Two of their longtime mentors are depicted in the first two gallery images. My first year in portraiture was spent getting acquainted, photographing and painting this group. They touched me and I grew.
'WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE: A Portrait Collection' permanently hangs at St. Paul's UMC. The paintings vary in size from 12"x16" to 16"x20".