Saturday, January 17, 2009

Jefferson Memorial Times Three....

Jefferson Memorial 5x7 oil












After viewing all the DSFDF images..I figured I better get hopping...so I did. Let me start by saying I would not have painted this if I was looking for something inspiring to paint......but....(and as I like to say the truth always comes after a but) this really put the test to me for several reasons and I really enjoyed doing it.
Here are a few reasons this was a good exercise. First the very reason that I would not have painted it is the best reason.....it makes me work past the basis of painting only what I know or "inspires me". Second, I never.....absolutely never paint on a small canvas like this. The smallest I have ever used was an 8x10...I may have painted on a 6x8 somewhere in the past...but never a 5x7. Well, guess what?...I liked it....I liked it a lot! I started painting and about an hour later I had a little painting!! That's pretty cool stuff in my book! Third, after reading the article on Karin Jurick in American Artist Magazine....I thought..hmmmm....black canvas, eh? She uses black latex paint to cover the canvas and I did the same...acrylic tube paint actually. So a black canvas is what I decided to paint on....again something I never, ever do! And, well, you have probably guessed it....I liked that too! It is probably something I won't do all the time....but it did make me think differently. Everything you see on the canvas that looks black is the black canvas. The rest are shapes and marks to denote the light areas in the photo. So there you have it...my DSFDF challenge this time around.

The photo we used to paint the challenge
There is something really familiar about this image... aside from the fact that it is a very famous monument. As many of you know I live in a very old house....Victorian era...old wood, old floors...... and old wallpaper, layers of it from turn of the century to maybe 1960 something! Every night while I lay in bed reading or watching a movie....there is a faint, ghostlike pattern repeated over and over the walls of the master bedroom. The colors are cool grays and pink, white and a little green. I see this pattern and on first impression wonder what in the world would possess someone to paper their room with this design. I think about the little pattern that repeats itself over and over and sometimes it makes me a little dizzy. Other times it reminds me of the Fifties and makes me think of vacation trips by car as a child on Route 66 or some other infamous highway. It also reminds me that Spring always comes....and things are born anew every year. I lay awake dreaming of a thrifty woman, in a little day number with matching hat, cat eye glasses, shopping on a budget that is tight and looking through paper swatch books of wall paper laid out like family albums. I go through the steps with her...measuring and calculating.....checking how much she can spend, what colors to use and will anyone else like it. Finally I understand...she wants a nice home...she is trying to dress things up a bit, while sticking to the hard line allowance and there at the bottom of the bin or at the back of the book is something she likes....and she can afford it. Perhaps she has the same feelings I do when I look at this design....maybe it's as simple as what she can afford......but then.... maybe....she just liked Washington D.C......

Wallpaper (Portrait of me at four years old)





















A snippet of wallpaper from our hom
e


















I kind of like it actually or maybe I HAVE to like it because I
just can't afford anything else right now?...:)
Until next time,
Theresa

50 comments:

Vern Schwarz said...

Okay, I am now officially waiting to see your take on the weeks challenge before I start mine...ha! This is beautifully painted and belies the small size. Humans unlike certain animals aren't able to see colour in darkness, but there is enough light present here to reveal some great subtleties. Loved your tribute to the great Andrew Wyeth. Army blanket is also one of my favs.

Sheila said...

Love your DSFDF piece. I wish my sky was as moving and deep as yours. Congrats! Love your little girl portrait too.
How Adorable!!

theresamillerwatercolors said...

Lovely rendition of the Jefferson Memorial... finished in one hour?! WOW! The black canvas does work perfectly for this night scene, good choice. I love it!

Erika Nelson said...

THERESA!!!!!!! I dare say this is my favorite rendition of the Jefferson Memorial photo! Painted like a fine artist would unlike the more commercial take that I did. I love how you made the scene sparkle and alluring as if I might have sweet memories about that I might not quite recall yet. It speaks to my spirit. How the heck do you do this? Come back and teach mehhhhh! Love-Erika

Erika Nelson said...

So did you come to Arkansas yet? The snow is almost all gone now. Maybe a group of us can grab lunch with you let me know.

Theresa Rankin said...

Ok Vern...I will let you but if I am late then you will be to! Thank you so much for your lovely comment...I was hoping it appeared bigger than the 5x7...it always tickles me when I succeed in a certain aspect of art....the failures can be soooo difficult!

Theresa Rankin said...

Thank you Sheila...I had a lot of fun with the sky....but the the little girl portrait is me when I was four and done by a professional from Beverly Hills.

Theresa Rankin said...

Thank you so much Theresa,,I am happy you like it...try that black canvas just for fun!

Theresa Rankin said...

Oh Erika...you are just too sweet...I thank you..and am tickled that you like it and that it produces that feeling in you...a true compliment! Haven't made it to Arkansas yet I will try for this coming week.

Theresa Rankin said...

I don't think I have your phone number...:)

Trevor Lingard said...

Hello Theresa
This one has really worked for me. I saw it on different strokes and immediately was taken in by the blue night sky, the lamp glare and reflected light passages. I`m sure this method and size as indspired you to try similar.
I look forward to seeing them.
Regards

Trevor Lingard said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Theresa Rankin said...

Hello, Trevor!...we seem to have the same view...you have put into words exactly what drew me into painting it.
Thank you so much for your delightful comment.
Warm Regards

Theresa Rankin said...

I deleted the double comment Trevor...sometimes cyberspace has it's own will!

Barbara M. said...

Hi Theresa,

The painting is amazing -- just stellar, and the story of the lady
picking out the wallpaper. Come on,
get writing that book!!!

What an imagination, and what an
artist.


You go girl!!!!

xoxoxxoxoxBarbara

Dana Cooper Fine Art said...

Theresa, your version of the Jefferson Memorial is exceptional! I look forward to seeing more of your work.

artbyakiko said...

Theresa, your Jefferson Memorial is so beautiful! Excellent composition. I especially love the sky and the lighting of the building. Great work!!

Edward Burton said...

An absolutely BEAUTIFUL painting! Great Job!

Pete said...

Theresa you really captured the sky perfectly and halos around the lights. These little paintings are fun aren't they? I tried the black gesso too and I found that my painting seemed to progress much faster...maybe because I didn't have to develop the darks so much.

Like you, I wouldn't do it all the time, but it's a great change of pace.

Theresa Rankin said...

Barbara you are one gracious lady! Glad you like the painting...I am really thinking on the book...but for now just thinking.

Theresa Rankin said...

Thank you so much Dana for such a wonderful comment. I am happy to see you here...and get your feedback.

Theresa Rankin said...

Thank you Akiko...your are very kind and I am honored.

Theresa Rankin said...

Thank you Edward!! I admire your work and am honored by your comment!

Theresa Rankin said...

Thank you Pete for a wonderful comment...and yes it was a lot of fun. I think you have hit on the reason why it went so fast! The darks are there already!

Michelle said...

Wow! Beautiful color! Starting with a black canvas is very interesting...I'll have to try it. It obviously work for you. Great wallpaper too!

Theresa Rankin said...

Thank you so much Michelle! I was kind of worried about the black canvas...but it was very liberating! The wallpaper is kind of fun isn't it?

Teresa said...

This is stunning! I really love your work Theresa! Thank you for the nice comments on my blog ;) Much appreciated!

Theresa Rankin said...

Thank you, Teresa!! And thank you for adding me to your painting blog...I will do the same for you. I really appreciate the lovely comment.

vickiandrandyrossart said...

VOODOO! Can't believe that wallpaper...I think you should keep it AND that perfect painting to frame and hang. I also love your imaginary housewife story...I can see her now (and I used to have a pair of those cat eye glasses!)

Dana Cooper Fine Art said...

I love your rendition of the Jefferson Memorial, it's exquisite!

Kim VanDerhoek said...

This turned out so well! I like how the road takes me right to the focal point. Very nice!

Working small is very satisfying isn't it? One short painting session and it's finished.

dominique eichi said...

I love the sky and than was attracted to the trees but they looked a bit different but could not put my finger on it right away.I finally figures it out by reading your post it's because the canvas is black and their outlines are done by painting the sky. It's so interesting to work backwards. Very nice piece.

eldon warren said...

Hi Theresa, that's twicw in the last week I've seen something about a black beginning. Nice painting, you nailed it. And that book, I can hardly wait!
Eldon

eldon warren said...

Twice even. :)
eldon

adebanji said...

Great Post, Nice painting too-especially the retaining of the darks as black.

Interesting things to think about.

That's one thing I like about the DSFDF - the learning of new things! I guess you'll paint a bit more small sized pieces after this one!

Theresa Rankin said...

Hey Vicki!! Thank you...I will probably keep the wallpaper...and I am glad you liked the little painting and the story. I can see those glasses now!! Voodoo? Sometimes I am a little slow!

Theresa Rankin said...

Thank you once again Dana!!

vickiandrandyrossart said...

voodoo on the wallpaper matching the challenge photo!

Theresa Rankin said...

Thank you so much Kim!! That was just about one long stroke angled like calligraphy. Yes these small paintings are very satisfying...I intend to do more!

Theresa Rankin said...

Oh, I Get it now...I thought that might be it...but wasn't sure thanks Hon!! Go to my web site and sen me your address and phone...noone will see it but me..Ok?

Theresa Rankin said...

Thank you so much, Dominique...That's exactly it...working backwards...and it was really easy!

Theresa Rankin said...

Eldon..thank you!! Really good to hear from you and I hope you are getting to your paints! I love your work and am always eager to see the next one!!

Theresa Rankin said...

Twicw even!..I got it! LOL!

Theresa Rankin said...

I agree 100% Adebanji!! I love learning new things and DSFDF is perfect for that as is visiting all these blogs...your work is exceptional and thank you so much for commenting on mine!

http://www.onpainting.wordpress.com said...

WOW - what a difference in skill level between you and most of the other painters of this challenge. You really did a good piece.

Theresa Rankin said...

Gee..thank you Lisa..I am honored by your comment!...:)

Marian Fortunati said...

Great post, Theresa!... Your challenge painting turned out really nicely.... Don't you just love small format paintings?? I started doing them fairly recently and really like the "quickness" of them.
I started toning the canvas panel with black acrylic on occasion after I asked Michael Naples about what he does with his slippery boards. (I find boards without canvas a bit too slippery .... Perhaps I should try those again... just to stretch myself.)
HOW in the world did you get a photo of the wallpaper you had when you were a child??? And WHAT a memory!! How wonderful!

Theresa Rankin said...

Marian...thank you and good to hear from you...I am really thinking about doing more of these~!
Micheal's work is beautiful isn't it!!
LOL! That is my current wallpaper...I live in a 120 year old Victorian....I believe the wallpaper is late 40's or early 50's.

Bill Brauker said...

Great work on this one. I loved it. I have been painting from black lately and really find it helpful with many of my paintings. Loved the bit about the wallpaper, and it was interesting to see that you you are not only a babe now, but you were a babe when you were four too!

Theresa Rankin said...

It is amazing how well the black ground works, isn't it!!? Glad you like my little stories and thank you for the lovely personal comment!