Monday, December 5, 2011

An update, more portraits and a start on "Madame Butterfly"

"Madame Butterfly" in progress, 5" x 7" small work, oil on panel

"Carolina" 9" x 12", black and white charcoal on green pastel paper,
a detail from a 50-minute pose from life

Hello everyone! This Fall I have been taking a little hiatus from miniature painting and miniature competitions, in order to give more attention to my portraiture and portrait commissions, so although it's been several months since my last post on this blog, I have posted fairly often to my portrait blog. Among other projects, several couples portraits are in the works. If you'd enjoy following my work in portraiture, the follower block is positioned at the bottom of the blog at Mona Conner Portraits, (due to the large picture format). "Carolina", shown above, is just one example from the live model drawing practice sessions I've attended from Sept. through early December. Weekly free 3-hour sessions with live models is a wonderful privilege provided to all School of Visual Arts alumni who wish to attend, and I have enjoyed both the models and the camaraderie so much that I really look forward to when these sessions resume next semester!

I'll be posting "Hat Lady in Pink" in her frame sometime soon, and meanwhile a new Lady I just love has entered my head vase collection, this sweet "Madame Butterfly", or so it says on the label that remains intact, and above Carolina is just a start on her. I'm hoping also to share one of my Christmas portraits in miniature here with you too this month, a baby portrait, but only if it won't spoil the surprise for a very proud Mom I happen to know, so miniatures coming soon too!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hand Painting a Frame Specifically for a Painting

Painted frame detail

"Hat Lady With Red Flowers",  5" x 7",  oil on panel

I wanted to show you how I finished off this Hat Lady painting 
by hand-painting it's frame. Although a frame always 
becomes part of the finished artwork, I feel it is even more so 
in this instance an integral part, since it was hand-painted by me.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Progress on Hat Lady in Pink

"Hat Lady in Pink" (later stage of progress), 5" x 7" oil on gessoed panel

earlier stage of progress on gessoed panel, 5" x 7"

Here is my start on another hat lady from my own collection, and it's only a start on her too, more fun to come!

Since she's almost finished, I've added a more recent version of my progress on top.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

"Hat Lady with Red Flowers" and "Red-ruffed Lemur"

"Hat Lady with Red Flowers", 5" x 7", small work oil on sealed clayboard

"Red-ruffed Lemur" (in progress), 11" x 14", oil on Ampersand gessoboard

So first, here is "Hat Lady with Red Flowers" after more progress. Since small works as well as miniatures comprise just a portion of my work as an artist, "Hat Lady" is included in a gallery on my website which I've recently renamed to include both types of paintings and which you can visit here: MINIATURE PAINTINGS AND SMALL WORKS

Second, I started "Red-ruffed Lemur" quite a while ago, but reached a point where I felt undecided over how I wanted to handle the background. Yesterday I pulled this one it out again and seemed to know exactly how I wanted to proceed. I still have more to do on this painting, but it's a good example of how helpful it can be, (if time permits, since artists don't always have this luxury!), to wait until it feels just right to process a painting. I've often enjoyed painting animals, and you can view some of my other work on this topic by visiting my website under:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hat Lady ~ a small work oil in progress

"Hat Lady", in progress, 5" x 7", oil on sealed clay board panel

I have such a soft spot in my heart for hat ladies! Anybody else love these classy sweet pieces of nostalgia? So I'm having fun with this small work in oil of a favorite hat lady from my own personal collection. Found her a few years ago at a little vintage shop that I like to explore in my neighborhood called "Under the Pig". I'm also looking forward to painting a miniature of a wonderful hat lady collection that I saw at the 2005 Orange County Fair in California.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Marcia and Harry ~ finishing touches and framing

"Marcia and Harry" frame treatment

"Marcia and Harry", after final touches, 3 7/8" x 3", egg tempera miniature couples portrait

Just wanted to briefly revisit the miniature portrait of "Marcia and Harry" since before I framed and shipped this out, I added a few final touches which I feel subtly improved it---a bit of additional dimension to chins and faces, plus a forgotten buttonhole on the gray jacket (small, but it's there!) It's interesting how even after I've been working on a painting so long, it often helps to see what else can be done when I have the luxury of giving it a break and can take one last look before framing. I can also report that Mom and Harry have received their portrait, and were very happy with the outcome!

I hope to return next to my Princess Kate series, this time at small work scale in 24 karat gold point. Meanwhile, feel welcome to visit my portrait blog and my website where you can see some of my larger work with commissioned and non-commissioned portraiture.

Monday, May 9, 2011

#2 in the Princess Kate series

"Princess Kate #2", 3 7/8" x 3 1/8", framed silverpoint miniature portrait (shown at it's actual size) on pink-toned museum board with egg tempera highlights, $450 on Etsy

Here is the second in my Princess Kate series of portrayals commemorating the recent royal wedding. Later today, I'll add a picture showing it's frame, which is framed with the same style of antique silver-gilded frame as Princess Kate #1.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Princess Kate - One of Several Portrayals of Her in Miniature

"Princess Kate", 3 7/8" x 3 1/8", (framed dimensions: 5 1/2" x 4 5/8"), miniature silverpoint drawing on prepared museum board in antiqued silver gilded frame, $350 on Etsy

Here is the first of several portraits of Princess Kate which I've been working on this week in silverpoint. This one is currently listed for sale on Etsy (click on the link above), and please stay tuned for another Princess Kate portrait which I hope to post tomorrow.

Friday, April 29, 2011

HRH Kate on Her Special Day

preliminary drawing for a silverpoint miniature portrait of Kate Middleton, who today becomes Her Royal Highness

In just a matter of hours, Kate Middleton will become HRH Princess Catherine! I am so excited about the Royal wedding, so I want to try a portrait of Kate. I'm already trying to picture what she may wear, and I can't wait to see her wedding gown today, -- can you?! I've read that her dress includes a nod to Princess Diana, and will be inspired by fashions from the Renaissance period. One of her jackets is a bit reminiscent of the Renaissance without the under blouse, so I've sketched that in. I thought she might wear her hair partly up and partly down. Here is a preliminary pencil drawing for a silverpoint portrait, and depending upon whether I want to include a bit of wedding apparel, this may change later today, but first I must stop to watch this historic and happy occasion. Congratulations to Kate and William!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter and Passover!

Scenes from Litchfield Villa garden this week in Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Wishing each of you that blast of spiritual energy renewal which blesses all of us with a new beginning during the Holy celebrations of Easter and Passover each year.

It's Graduation Time Again & Spring Show Time Too!

"After the Davidson College Graduation," 4 5/8" x 3 3/8", (framed size: 8 3/16" x 6 3/16"), egg tempera on true gesso panel (black lacquer frame), available

several views of "Tulips at Giverny Gardens," 2 inch diameter painting in oil over 24 karat gold leaf on carved bone basket box, (SOLD)

"Carribean Cruise Flag", 3 1/16" x 2 1/2", (framed size: 5 7/8" x 4 7/8"), egg tempera on vellum, available

It's graduation time again, and I can hardly believe that very soon two of my nephews, David and Ben, will graduate from high school, and one nephew, Greg, will graduate from Denison College! I am so proud of these guys!

As it is also Spring show time, I'm very honored to be participating once again in the invitational show, "The Art of the Miniature XIX" at The Snow Goose Gallery in Bethlehem, PA. My three paintings in the show include one I painted after attending my niece Lauren's graduation from Davidson College last year, "After the Davidson College Graduation", and also my bone box painting,"Tulips At Giverny Gardens", along with "Carribean Ship Flag". You'll find these miniatures among many other fine offerings at "The Art of the Miniature" from May 1 to June 11, 2011, with a collector's preview on Sat., April 30th, 6-8 PM, and opening reception, Sunday, May 1, from 1-5 PM.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Finished miniature portrait of Marcia and Harry

"Marcia and Harry", 3 7/8" x 3", egg tempera on true gesso panel

And here is the completed miniature portrait of my Mom and step-dad, "Marcia and Harry."
Hope they like it! To see the photo I was working from, please visit Mona Conner Portraits.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Marcia & Harry, further progress on a dual mini-portrait

"Marcia and Harry" miniature portrait in progress, 3 7/8" x 3"

Still a bit of work to go, but here is the dual miniature portrait of my Mom and Harry after some more progress. They are standing by the picture windows of a beautiful NYC restaurant called Asiate, which sits atop the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, overlooking Columbus Circle and Central Park. The three of us had a lovely meal at Asiate to celebrate their honeymoon in New York in April 2008.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Marcia and Harry

"Marcia and Harry" in progress, egg tempera on gessoed panel, 3 7/8" x 3 1/2"

Well, surprise! After mulling it over, I just couldn't resist trying a portrait of this couple! So here is the start of my dual portrait, in progress, of my Mom and step-Dad, Marcia and Harry. They were on their honeymoon when the reference picture for this portrait was taken, and the background once filled in will indicate where they are standing (in a very special spot!)

Monday, January 24, 2011

My next portrait in miniature: my stepfather, Harry

a photo of my stepfather, Harry Killian

Some of you who follow my art will recall that after my father passed away, my Mom met and married my stepfather Harry Killian. They have both very recently turned 85 years old, and will happily celebrate their second wedding anniversary this April! My next miniature will be a portrait of Harry, and I'll post a progress report on this soon.