Figure with Three Patterned Sarongs

Watercolor on Masa Paper, 5.25×7.75″


This little watercolor was done yesterday during class. It’s was done as part of my no-hovering policy. I work along side my students to keep me out of their hair. One of my students, in a stroke of genius, suggested we take one of the upholstered benches from the hall into the classroom for our model to recline on. It became our chaise lounge a la Olympia!
As a junior college, the studio art classes are restricted to nothing beyond the 200 level. So not much is made of a concentration on the figure. We share the classroom with drawing and painting with no dedicated classroom for each activity. With no figure drawing/painting studio, we are ill equipped for providing an ideal setting. 
I’d love to have a room with props and drapes to literally dress a set and then allow it to stay in place during the period of activity for which it was created. I do have fabrics and four sarongs stored in a desk drawer. I pin the two yard lengths to the wall or drape them over the edge of the model stand. The model stand is a home made, all-purpose rolling table that is way too high for the models or the artists in the room. We all end up looking up the models’ noses or under their chins. It’s an awkward set-up.
The bench turned out to be the perfect height and it is padded enough to make our model reasonably comfortable. You see one sarong under the model and two on the wall behind her. A fourth sarong was her cover-up for the evening. They are very useful for they have the right size and have just enough pattern and color to make it interesting for drawings and paintings. Sarongs are so right!


T F m
March 29, 2013

Vacation Still Life Painting

Still Life
Oil on Linen Panel, 9×12″

My college just had its midterm recess. I don’t like hanging around Chicago during my spring breaks. It’s been very dreary here and temperatures are unusually low for the time of year. That’s a complete turn of events from last year when it was unusually warm. I just wanted a preview of spring. So my hubby and I flew off to Florida to visit some dear friends for ten days. They graciously put us up in their house. 

We are pretty compatible couples. She and I are artists. Her hubby and my hubby are avid bicycle riders. So I packed more art supplies than clothing and my hubby brought his folding bike which just fit in its case. It was larger than the bag for his clothing.

While the guys were on their bikes we women painted together and with the artists of the local art center. What fun! This was painted in her studio using some items from around the house. My friend is an animal activist who volunteers at the local animal shelter. She paints pet portraits. Half of her fee is donated to the shelter. 

I always have items that are meaningful to me in my still life paintings. The dog bookend is for my friend’s passion for animal welfare and the little bike is for her hubby’s passion for cycling. The coffee cup was included for the red color (representing my need for a morning caffeine fix, too) while the lemon came from a friend’s lemon tree.

This was the only panel dry enough for the trip home. I wrapped it in some plastic coated freezer paper and it emerged from my suitcase in pristine condition.

T F m
March 23, 2013