Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dr. Ray does the Happy Dance

 My client Dr. Ray is doing the Happy Dance with his portrait.  Which is a huge sigh of relief for me. You work so very hard on portraits and you want your customers to be happy. Dr. Ray had a very specific wish list for his portrait.

 He didn't want an ordinary soft lines portrait.
 He wanted:
  • a chunky and kind-of-fractured style
  • his stoner eyes and his laugh lines to show,
  •  his sunglasses on (how are you supposed to see his laugh lines?)
  •  a smirk-y smile, even though I told him teeth in a portrait can look cheesy
  • his hair to look unkempt
We spent a lot of time together to make sure we got it right. He loved it and best of all his wife had tears of joy, which is good, cause it was a surprise gift to her from him.
Dr. Ray
acrylic on canvas
©Maggie Ruley 2015
P.S. I think I repainted the mouth about 15 times.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Honor your talent

Fleming St in Bloom
oil on canvas
©Maggie Ruley 2015

 I had some customers in the studio the other day who expressed great surprise that I wouldn't be in the studio on Wednesday because I would be in a painting class.  Why would I chose to take a class when I have a certain skill level and a great place to use those skills?  Good question. The answer is because one way I can honor my talent, honor my customers and fans, and honor my students (Yeah, that's right, I teach classes now-more on that another time) is to be always in a state of learning.  Most often I learn from my mistakes, but it's really great to learn from other artists. So, in the month of April, I have been taking a plein air oil painting class from Mike Rooney.  Mike is from North Carolina, spends winters painting in Key West and part of the summer painting in Cape Cod and Maine.

 It's lovely this time of year in Key West and the Bougainvillea in morning sunlight was right in my own Fleming St. neighborhood was irresistible.

Using oil paints is not my greatest skill set, that makes this class a challenge. We don't get to be better painters doing the things we are good at over and over. Mike does a great job of giving us instruction and I'm enjoying the class. Here is his painting set up, simple and functional, along with his system of finding correct values in sun and shadow.

On a final note I want to thank everyone who stuck by me when my blog was hacked and those of you who have patiently waited for me to decide it was safe to post again.  You are the best! And I want to thank this blog that helped me solve the problem.
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