Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Havana musician, oil painting Cuba
Elegantly dressed, this trumpet player serenaded from this doorstep, Cuban flag mounted on little clips attached to the fan fold green door. I felt honored to capture this moment in Havana, Cuba. The painting was done later in my studio, the third in a series for Pasion Latin Restaurant.

 I worked from the background to the center details, leaving his hands and face for last. My photo didn't have the hand and fingers in enough detail to paint a three foot tall canvas, so I googled 'trumpet player.' Lots of great musicains and portrait pictures, but very little information that I needed at this angle, so I tried 'Cuban trumpet player' in a google search. Lo and behold, this particular musician was in half the shots, and by scrolling down I could see his advancement, from a plain red button shirt, to a brown tweed suit and up to this dapper white one. Bless those tourists!

Now part 2 of his story, he is mounted on the wall in Pasion and looks simply wonderful, adding color and atmosphere to the room. A gentleman comes up to me at the reception and says "There is a guy in there who knows the trumpet player." Of course I have to introduce myself, and he and his date are next to each other looking at the painting. He tells me the trumpeter's name which I promptly enter into my phone notes. I also learn that he played at the Buena Vista Social Club. Our group got to go there, just in time, as it has since permanently closed. The reason given is that the musicians are too old and want to stop. What, no substitutes? Anyway, I wrote his name amidst a crowded restaurant, surrounded by friends and blasting Cuban salsa and didn't notice that spell check corrected my Spanish. Later, looking up his name, I read 'Campo Defunded' Nope, that's not right.

Concert to the Cuban Sky, oil on canvas 36x24 c. 2016

The Village Inn

On its way out the door, I took a quick snapshot as I do not have a photo of this finished painting before the frame.

The Village Inn is a local Grand Island restaurant with a bit of New Orleans flair to the menu. It's tucked into Ferry Village, an area of the island where ferry boats would bring patrons from Buffalo on weekends, to dance, drink and carouse. The main dancehall, The Bedell House, was just down the street. Like other dancehalls here, it burned down, a victim of lack of electricity, I suppose. 

This painting will live on the wall of the Inn, on the eating porch; the room was just repainted, and coincidentally it happens to be our favorite place to sit. 

Sunday Morning, 12x16 oil on birch panel

Friday, June 3, 2016

I paint water, landscapes and outdoors so often that people forget I love food, like fruits and vegetables. YEs, I love to eat but they are very obedient models as well, especially when I want to paint but outdoors does not cooperate. 
This year I was selected to submit works for the Lewiston Region Tour of Kitchens and Homes Event and 3 of my paintings were chosen to stage one of the sites. The dark frames will jump out and look spectacular in the great white kitchen.
Three others will be displayed at Barton Hill Hotel for the final event, along with a selection of my minis. I get excited when my work is featured and seen by so many new eyes. I also love seeing the food paintings displayed together.

Lemon Hide, pastel

Sanded Tomatoes, pastel

Tomatoes and Mushrooms, oil

Carl Ate Two Radishes, oil

EDITED, several more paintings were selected for display at Barton Hill, plus 3 were used to stage a lovely River Road home. This is the display at the hotel.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Spirit of Havana

I am so thrilled to have mastered SATIN!
This beautiful and proud lady modeled for the plein air painters in Cuba and I took her photo when she took a break. She was an amazing model, no motion, and she stayed seated and kept her foot stretched for a half day. I didn't paint her in Havana, instead this is a studio piece and quite large. I painted it especially for the dining room of  Pasion Latin Restaurant in Buffalo, one of three paintings for them.

art in Cuba, orange satin, native dress
Spirit of Havana, oil 36x24 c.2016

Her REAL job is to keep planting fresh lipstick on the cheeks of tourists, then posing for photos and collecting a CUC, or tourist peso, equal to a dollar. A fair number of gentlemen walk around with a juicy kiss planted on their cheeks as part of the deal.

A different art, Eco-dyes

 A large collection of Christmas Cactus flowers and some branches with a small bunch of impatiens blooms were arranged on a pre-soaked well loved white sweater. I don't remember the name of the solution for pre soaking which was two days.

Then, it was all rolled tightly, with strings and rubberbands, for compression and double bagged...for three full days.
The second bag said 'fancy rolls' just for irony.
Unbagged, I steamed it for quite a while and let it cool slowly in the pot. I might have waited longer for the dyes to set more but I was getting impatient.

Rinsed and washed on delicate, I am thrilled with the results. But, it took a week and the weather warmed so it will be new for Fall.