Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Special Delivery Eight Years Later

"The Lion Tamer" is the first of the Incognito Project pieces to be delivered to it's new home. This is the model and her daughter. My collector has generously agreed to loan the painting back for the eventual show, but in the mean time she and her family get to enjoy it while I finish the rest of the paintings for the show!
Peggy is a Birmingham local, art and marketing is her profession. She is someone who always has a smile on her face and a sunshiny personality. She is thrilled with my depiction of her "fierce" incognito personae. I've caught glimpses of this steely strength in the years that we've been friends and it was fun to have her share that side of herself with me.
"The Lion Tamer-The Incognito Project", 16x16, oil on panel, and details
As I'm posting this I realize just how long I've been friends with Peggy, she in fact modeled for me when she was pregnant with this very same daughter. At the time, 2003, she told me she'd always wanted to be an artist's model and was happy to check that off her bucket list.
"Dawn", 7x15, 2003

This painting was in my first museum show at the Meridian Museum of Art in Meridian Mississippi, January 2004. It is now in the collection of Carly Strickland. I really do have the coolest friends!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Incognito Project Gets a Shine

I varnished the first batch of The Incognito Project paintings this week. Fun to see this work coming together, and varnish day is always exciting, seeing the colors come back to their full saturation.
 "The Lion Tamer", 16x16, oil on panel
 "The Rake", 16x16, oil on panel
 "Bram's Lullaby", 16x16, oil on panel
 "The Activist", 16x16, oil on panel
 "Yippee Ki-Yay", 16x16, oil on panel
 "The Torch Singer", 16x16, oil on panel
This work is for a self-produced show that will be here in Birmingham, AL, details to be announced. To see more about the project click here.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tornado Relief Benefit Poster

My oil sketch "Tuesday Night Blues", 12x9, has been used on a poster to advertise a benefit festival for Alabama Tornado Relief and Hands On Birmingham.

The poster was designed by Randy Webb, talented Birmingham artist and guitar man. My sketch was done at our local life drawing group, X's 8, where we both go to draw.
Randy Webb, Self Portrait, 14x17, Charcoal
Randy also makes really cool cigar box guitars when
he's not making art, playing the blues or doing good deeds.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Ode to Melancholy"

24x36, oil on panel
The model is my daughter and the title is inspired by the poem
Ode to Melancholy by John Keats, 1819.

No, no! go not to Lethe, neither twist
Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss'd
By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;
For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.
But when the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose.
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
Or on the wealth of globèd peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave.
And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.
She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die;
And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight
Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine;
His soul shall taste the sadness of her might,
And be among her cloudy trophies hung.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Portrait Society of America Conference 2011

I can't seem to find time to blog about the super cool event almost two weeks ago in Atlanta, GA, so I refer you to my friend Diane Feissel's blog! She's got all the links. Also check out the many blog posts of artist Matthew Innis about the Conference and all things art related, Underpaintings.
(this photo courtesy of Anne Nelson Sweat).
Yet more painters! L-R, back row first: Sadie Valeri, me, Terry Strickland, Alia El-Bermani, Cindy Procious.
 (this photo courtesy of Diane Feissel)
It was great to be in the company of almost 850 artists, watching demos by the likes of David Leffel, Jeremy Lipking, Mary Whyte, Anthony Ryder, and Michael Shane Neal. Next year it's in Philly.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Big Rescue

I had lunch today with a couple of my friends who also happen to be collectors. You may recognize them as models for my Incognito Project as well.

After an enjoyable lunch they asked me to comment on a recent art purchase they'd made. This wasn't surprising since they are avid collectors and they know that I love collecting other artist's work as well. They had brought it to the restaurant and did the big reveal in the parking lot.

Turns out they'd purchased an old oil sketch of mine from 2002. They had rescued it from obscurity in an antique shop in Birmingham, AL.

This was a life-drawing sketch done back when the X's 8 group that I still attend, used to meet in a warehouse downtown.

They were delighted to discover this painting and add it to their collection of "Strickland's". What a fun surprise!

This proves that you never know where those donated art auction  pieces will turn up 10 years later... if you're lucky, maybe in the hands of someone who will appreciate them.

Thanks guys for putting a smile on my face today!


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