I entered two works in the Art Renewal Center Annual Salon with no expectations. I'm so very humbled that one of them has been recognized. Some Salon winners are included in an exhibition at the MEAM (Museum of Modern Art in Europe) in Barcelona Spain! Details on which piece and any awards will come in early May. I'll be holding my breath! (For those outside the art world, ARC sets the industry standard for art teaching, promotion and restoration of the practice of representational, realistic art — and is the foremost authority in my field, as far as I am concerned.)
Now Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Blog Post:
City Blues, first in my new Vintage est Nouveau series, is a busy girl! She is on her way to Cutter & Cutter Fine Art Brilliance in Color Gallery in St. Augustine, Florida for the Oil Painters of America 24th Annual National Exhibition where she competes with 200 other remarkable works for the Gold Medal Prize of $25,000! Holy cow! Wouldn't that be amazing? Wish her luck!
So you might be wondering, where did the inspiration for this new series spring from?
I have to take you back to August of 2013, to the day I first met my now good friend, Jackie. For those of you who know me well, you know I often embarrass my friends by walking up to strangers and asking them if I can paint them. Surprisingly enough, it almost always works! Only a few times have I been given the "You might be a serial killer" look. Most of the time people are flattered to be asked and I arrange a sitting or a photo shoot, etc.
But, in August of 2013 at the National Oil and Acrylic Painter's Society Best of America Show I happen to approach what has turned out to be one of the most interesting and eccentric women I have ever had the pleasure to know. Jackie. Jackie's posture, and hair, below the waist, called to me from across the Dunegan Gallery of Art…She stood on 5-inch-high heals and wore a broom skirt and shawl that swept the floor. Her gorgeous line and slender figure drew me to her. It wasn't until I gently disturbed her that I saw her wizened and magnificent face. Jackie was 82, then.
My excitement and desire to paint her shot off the charts. She agreed to go outside where I could get better light to photograph her by. It was then that she asked me "I bet you're dying to know how old I am, aren't you?" Ha!!! You bet I was! And I was dying to get better photos than what I was getting.
By January of 2014 Jackie had introduced me to her overwhelming collection of authentic American Indian regalia and early American vintage clothing. The two taxidermied deer dressed as bride and groom and seated at the baby grand piano in her living room were the first clues that I was becoming privileged to a special person of deep and mysterious creative magic.
By November of 2014 Jackie hand delivered to my studio door, trunk loads of vintage capes, wraps, shawls, furs and clothing and in one glorious day, my team and three models (including my daughter, Grace) gathered enough photo references for my newest series, Vintage est Nouveau (What Is Old, Is New).
I have since painted two others in the series, both of which, I am delighted to report, have sold before they were even finished. No. 4 is set to begin this week.
Jackie, an art lover and philanthropist, to say the least, has lent the clothing which inspired (and a print of City Blues) to her county museum. The deer, I understand, are also on loan to an area museum. She and I have a date for Mother's Day when I will get to hand pick the outfits for the upcoming Romel de la Torre 3-Day "Painting the Costumed Figure" Workshop here at my studio in July. Can you hear the clapping and giggling of an artist experiencing pure joy?