Hats for Portrait Paintings Are Not Appreciated

Portrait with Scarf and Hat
Watercolor on Masa Paper, 15×10.5″

This lady has gorgeous hair! Can you see it? Nope! That’s because she has a hat on. I can appreciate a hat in a portrait if there is nothing else of interest or, if the hat is interesting, but when the hat obliterates any hint of the good stuff, then, I become very unhappy! No dressed model stand, only neutral colors; blah! I loved the scarf because it had gorgeous color and some pattern. That hat took all my attention to make it believable. I have lots of figure paintings with color and pattern that include some of my best work. Just search this blog to see my previous. You’ll find 8 years worth.

The future holds a few surprises so stay tuned blog watchers!





T F m
February 14, 2017

Illinois Biennial Watercolor and Drawing Exhibition

These are installation views of the Eighteenth Biennial Exhibition of Illinois Watercolors and Drawings. It’s held at the Tarble Arts Center of Eastern Illinois University. It’s juried from the actual work right at the arts center. My friends and I usually pool our deliveries to this show since it  is a 4 hour drive from my location. I think we delivered 16 pieces of work for the jury. If you have work accepted you can wait for the reception to collect the unaccepted work. This year there was a blizzard which kept a lot of people from attending the reception so a lot of work will be waiting for collection at the the closing.
The watercolor in the middle picture is mine. The title is Ed. It is posted on this blog. Just follow the link for a larger view.
You can see its a massive space. My friend, Sigrid, took these pictures of my piece installed for documentation.  Thank you Sigrid!

T F m
February 3, 2011

A New Classroom

Classes began at my college last Monday. This is a new classroom for the art department. This is my classroom every Monday and Wednesday morning. The room accommodates all the drawing and painting classes (on this campus) plus workshops for art organizations and any of the adult continuing education classes. It is a room of beauty and a joy to behold! At around 20% larger than our last room and 300% larger than our original classroom, to me, it is a palace! My furniture moving will hopefully be reduced by half. Yay! I even have a digital projector on the ceiling for showing examples of work for each assignment. No slides. No cumbersome equipment to be brought to the room. This is probably the last time I will see it this pristine, but I still think I’m in heaven.

T F m
August 28, 2010


I have just returned home from a wedding in Toronto. Actually it is the second wedding for the same couple. My nephew married a young lady from an Indian family. Since many members from each family could not travel, there were two weddings. The Toronto wedding was a traditional Hindu wedding. That included a henna painting party (mendhi). The painting of the hands and feet are for the bride and the women guests. The woman who did the painting was very quick. She painted this in just over 5 minutes. She painted the hands of at least two dozen women and the little girls. The henna paste is made of henna, eucalyptus oil, and tea water. The final image is a little paler than it appears here as this mixture is rubbed off after it has set for a few hours. It’s darker if left over night. The resulting stain will last about two weeks. I did some portraits of some of the children at the party and will post them later in the week.

This was the most fun I have had in some time. There were three days of partying. The mendhi party lasted at least 8 hours. We arrived at 2pm and left at 10pm and the party was still going. There was music and singing and everyone was called up to dance in celebration.  The hosts were welcoming and gratious and made us feel right at home. What a great experience!

T F m
July 13, 2010

My Absence

I have been very busy in the last month. I visited friends in Florida and, after a few days home, went right on to my future home in Wisconsin where I supervised, with my husband, the creation of a new studio. My husband has been an electrician for the last 45+ years having worked outdoors with his tool belt on high rises during the worst winters as apprentice, journeyman, foreman, general foreman, and then as a project manager. He has consulted for and done lighting design for large facilities, designed and supervised the execution large capacity back-up generation and uninterrupted power sources for computer floors. He has finished his career with the complex requirements for hospital E.R.s and surgical suites. 
Now he is working with the tools again, for me. He has completed all the electrical work for my new studio, his office/radio room including the lighting design and a new electrical panel for same. Together we decided on ceiling tile and flooring while friend, who is a carpenter, did the execution.
Both of our play spaces looked more like garages than actual living spaces. You can see the transformation in the pictures above. Both pictures were taken from roughly the same positions. Now we have to complete our move so we can put our other house up for sale and make the move full time and permanent. 
We are moving to a rural area near Green Bay, Wisconsin and will be only a half hour ride to Sturgeon Bay and the Door Peninsula. A beautiful place to live with woods and open fields and no traffic! Not like Chicago traffic at all! The weather is similar and when we are tired of winter we’ll pick up and go to the warm by visiting our Florida friends.
So painting has taken second place to moving but I hope to post a few pieces soon.

T F m
June 16, 2010


I taught my first of the semester lifedrawing class to my beginning drawing students. It’s grueling for them and for me. Rushing from one campus to the other is not pleasant either. Next semester I start the PM class 30 minutes later so that will make it easier in the rush department especially with winter weather to anticipate. I’m pooped.

T F m
November 20, 2008

Back to the grindstone, sort of

Well I have attended the wedding that took another day away from my Saturday studio group and now I can go back to a more consistent attendance. I relish those sessions. It’s the best day of my week! Four hours with a model; good conversation and good music mixed with art-making. That’s an ideal combination for me. I wouldn’t miss it at all if it were not for other obligations that occasionally interfere.

We have a male model for the next two sessions and I am going to bring a doll to the session for my work and see what happens when I place the doll into a piece with a nude man. I prefer to be a provocative & snotty. I want people to think when they look at my work.

T F m
November 16, 2008

Figure Painting Session

I am going to a drop in session with a model this morning. I need to keep my skills up to par. I’ll be using watercolor today. Since I have this wedding this Saturday and won’t be able to go to the Saturday session.
I prefer Saturdays because the model is engaged for 2 sessions of 4 hours each and I can actually get a complete work out of it. I can work with water mixable oils and I really like them. I use the quick dry medium to make the paint move more readily. I gotta go in order to get there in time and still find a place to park.

T F m
November 14, 2008

Making contact

I have been making contact with old friends. I also want to make new friends and share my art. I will be up-loading images periodically and making announcements of shows. I hope to hear from any one who is interested in art, history, & science. More to come regarding my art process and what I have to say in my work. My work can be a bit edgie so be prepared. contact me through my website www.davida-art.com

T F m
November 12, 2008