Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Clamming at Andy's Way

I am currently working on a group of paintings inspired by Block Island, which is one of my favorite places on earth. Andy's Way is a beach on the sound side of the island where people go clamming at low tide. This painting is oil on panel 24' x 36". I am interested in looking at how a single or small group of figures relates to the landscape and in most of these paintings I am also focusing on the canine and human relationship-a favorite subject of mine.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Precious Biggs

This is a little painting of a big dog, in life and in spirit- Miss Precious Biggs of Naples, Florida. The painting is oil on panel, 8" x 10".

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Portrait of Marielle and Dolly

This is a portrait of a young girl and her Australian Shepherd. The girl's mother requested that I paint her daughter reading the books that she loves, with her constant companion, Dolly. Dolly likes to lie right on top of Marielle while she reads. It was a little tricky getting the pose because they are both sort of whirling dervishes. I finally did a drawing in which Dolly is more or less draped over Marielle's legs, looking out at the viewer. Marielle is looking up but her expression portrays that she is still completely absorbed in the world of the book she is reading- Charlotte's Web of course! Other books by her feet on the sofa are Narnia, The Hobbit, Harry Potter and the Wind in the Willows. And one of her favorite fairies is just outside the window. The painting is oil on panel 20" x 24".

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Carmen Mural Installed

The Carmen Opera Mural was installed in its permanent home this week. I went to do the touch up work. It needed very little as Stefan, the installer, had done a fantastic job. The mural was adhered to the wall, then Stefan cut around the elevator door with a very sharp knife. Needless to say, I chose not to be there to witness that event! The lines where the door opens in the mural are nearly invisible. The room is painted a deep yellow ochre which is beautiful juxtaposed against the mural. And I love the little yellow chair that sits nearby. I can imagine Carmen jumping down from the table where she is dancing and flopping down in that chair to take a rest.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Carmen Mural Complete

The Carmen mural is nearly finished. I just have to re-grid it and mark it for installation. The lower section is the image on the left and the top part is on the right. Once it is installed, the total dimensions will be 11 feet high by 5 feet wide. I am pleased with the color saturation and the density of the figures within the composition. I am looking forward to seeing the two pieces together on the wall. The figure on the upper right, on the balcony, is a quotation from Manet. In general I was looking a lot at the figure groupings of Piero della Francesco, especially in the parade of matadors. The two female figures on the right, the "cigarette workers" are as intimidating as they are in the opera! Two of my favorite figures are the little boy on the right and the boy peeking out between the two matadors. Sometimes while I was working, he would catch my eye and wink. I am sure he will do the same for the people he will be living with!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Progress on the Carmen Mural

Here are some more pictures of the Carmen Mural in progress. I am happy to be finished with the top part because standing on the scaffolding near the ceiling was very hot. I could feel the heat radiating down from the roof. It is much cooler near the floor, as you can see from the photo of my two studio muses stretched out by my painting table!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Portfolio Students-Congratulations!!!

Congratulations to all my talented students who are heading off to college next month. Some of the schools that my former students are attending:
Rhode Island School of Design
Maryland College of Art and Design
Savannah College of Art and Design
Wesleyan University
Art Institute of Boston/Lesley University
University of Pennsylvania/PAFA
St.Mary's of Maryland
Penn State
Hobart and William Smith
Mary Washington

*Bike drawing by Elizabeth Von Oehsen RISD '14

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Iced Tea Recipe

Whew! It is hot around here this summer! Here is my favorite recipe for making sweet iced tea. Use a glass container. My mason jar fits 14 cups of water. Here is the recipe:

14 cups of filtered water
7 tea bags
1 cup pure cane sugar
4 -5 big sprigs of mint
Put everything in the jar. Close tightly and swirl it around to stir up the sugar. Place it outside in full sun for several hours or until the tea is a very deep golden brown. It should be very strong! Take it inside and pull out the tea bags and mint. Pour over ice, or put in the fridge to cool. This is a great picker upper on a hot day.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Opera Mural #3 Carmen

I have started the third of my Opera Murals for my wonderful clients on Capitol Hill. This one is based on the opera Carmen, and will be about six feet wide by eleven feet tall. Like the others it will disguise a secret elevator door. There will be a tiny doorknob which when pulled will open the mural to reveal-an elevator! The bottom image is the drawing on canvas of the lower part of the mural. It is charcoal, on fire retardant muslin that has been primed with tinted gesso. The main figures of Carmen and Don Jose will end up just about at the viewer's eye level when the mural is installed. In the foreground are the women from the cigarette factory as well as little street urchins and some matadors in fancy hats. In the middle ground is Don Jose's rival on a white horse. (I can't wait to paint that!) and in the distance is the bull fighting arena with a bullfight going on. The image on the top is the upper part of the mural, also drawn in charcoal on canvas. This is the balcony above the arena. It is populated by soldiers and ladies in hats holding fans. I am about to start with the color, so please check back to see the progress.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Dog and Man" oil on panel

I finished a portrait this week, that I have been working on for awhile. It is 24" x 36", oil on panel. The subject is a Boykin Spaniel and his man. The Boykin's name is Willy and he is the most cheerful dog I have ever met. I first prepared the panel with 5 coats of gesso, sanding between each coat. For this kind of portrait I like a very smooth surface because the paint strokes are so small. Next I put an imprimatura over the gesso, using a mixture of Gamblin Transparent Orange and Alizarin Crimson. I thin this into a transparent glaze with Galkyd. I like to get rid of the white gesso before starting the underpainting. I then proceeded with the underpainting using Gamblin Chromatic Black and Titanium White, keeping the tonal range in a higher scale since darker glazes would be going over it in the following layers. Here are some links for more information.
http://www.boykinspaniel.org/ for more information on wonderful Boykin Spaniels
http://www.gamblincolors.com/ for more information on Gamblin colors and mediums

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ceramic Tiles after Firing

I am happy to say that all 38 tiles were fired without any breakage. They are going to be installed later this week. The contractor has come up with a way to install them so that they can be removed as one piece if the owners ever decide to move. I think the plan is to mortar them to a separate board which will then be attached to the wall, rather than simply mortaring each tile individually to the wall.
And a special thanks to "All Fired Up" on Bethesda Avenue for being so accommodating and fastidious firing these for me.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ceramic Tiles before firing

I have been working on an interesting project, painting tiles for the wall behind the range in a new kitchen. I am working with ceramic underglaze paints, on bisque tile. Here is an image of the tiles before firing. The concept is to create tiles for the client that are personal icons from her life.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Small Works for Haiti Show

The opening of the Small Works for Haiti Show last night in the Town of Chevy Chase, was a huge success. Thirty five works sold at the opening raising $3500 for Partners in Health. It was a wonderful event as many artists from in and out of the town participated. I was particularly proud of the students that contributed work including my own B-CC high school students as well as students of Lauren Cook and Laurie Rader. The show will be open this afternoon from 2-6pm and Sunday from 2-4. There are lots of small works left to be purchased so please go see the show!

*Partners in Health is doing great work in Haiti and is in there for the long term. To see more images from the exhibition click here.

Town Dogs Panels

These images are of the four panels that make up the Town Dogs Mural. Each panel is 20 x 24 inches and is done in oil. I started this project last fall, asking people in my town of Chevy Chase, Maryland, to volunteer their canine family members to model for me. I had a great response and spent most of the autumn photographing all kinds of dogs, from standard poodles to miniature schnauzers. I worked on the panels over the winter, finishing them in April. They will hang in the Chevy Chase town office until the end of May.

Giclee prints of these paintings are available. They are the same size as the originals, printed on high-quality canvas, and stretched on museum-grade stretcher bars. The price of a giclee of one panel is $350. If you would like to order one, please contact me at paintings@kathrynfreeman.com.