Sunday, May 9, 2010

First Friday open studio -Live painting: what a blast!

The first Friday of May was a couple days ago, which means that my studio was open for the Art Walk on Santa Fe Drive in Denver.
This month one of my studio-mates Wynne Reynolds and I decided try live painting in the studio. So we set up our easels and painted with our backs to the crowd. Neither one of us had done this before and were a bit nervous about the whole thing. And let's face it; it can be a bit unnerving when you have people looking over your shoulder as you're trying to work.  I have trouble focusing on the task at hand when there aren't 50 people standing behind me! But I think we did alright. Somehow between chatting up people and answering questions I managed to get the most of the first layer of a new portrait down.
The portrait I chose to do is of former Heavy Weight Champ Evander Holyfield. Am I a boxing fan...? No not really. I watched some of Evander's fights back in the day, but that was probably just because I was married to someone who was watching. I chose to paint Holyfield because...well...I just like the way he looks! I thought him a wonderful subject and everyone seemed to agree. Plus since I was painting in front of hundreds of people (throughout the night), I really didn't want to have to tackle details such as fine facial features. I was able to get the curves of that marvelous torso down on canvas rather quickly.
Thanks to all the wonderful people who came out to support art and artists. I had a great time chatting with folks about art, jazz, Miles Davis, trees with no leaves, travel and a myriad of other subjects. I'm only sorry that I don't have pictures of the evening. I could use a volunteer photographer for future openings (hint hint). Yesterday I took pictures of the studio, sans people and hub-hub. The quiet aftermath.

Above: View as you enter the studio, with our works in progress on our easels.

Right: My nearly finished "Night Sky" along with the photo on my mac that inspired it. People seemed to enjoy seeing the original inspiration photo and where I took it as a painting.

Above: My portraits of Billie Holiday, John Lee Hooker, Ella Fitzgerald, Janis Joplin and Two Friends at a Jam. To the right of Janis is the very nearly finished Paradise

Below: The warm palette paintings on the left are Wynne Reynolds The paintings on the right are the first two of my album cover series: Miles and Stop Making Sense.

Above: Sunday Afternoon, Red Rocks and the Microcosm series. Below: Trees!!

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