Dior’s “Pas de Deux”

Projects Series

Maybe it’s just me. Yet, while flipping through the Spring/Summer 2019 collections I felt a bombardment of exaggeration. 

However, Thank you, Maria Grazia Chiuri! Chiuri is the creative director at Dior. As stated on the Dior website, the present campaign came about to embrace “the body in movement”. Nuanced. And gauzy without obscuring.

dior-spring-2019

Paper Rag Doll

Brushwork, Projects Series

The original editorial in W’s #2 2019 issue had model Rianne Van Rompaey with super sized lacquered hair. If my version is a slight to stylist Grace Coddington’s vision, I beg forgiveness. Craig McDean’s photos are beguiling – and I was hooked. (The clothing, primarily Valentino.)

To stay nearly true to the lighting I wound up using some of my student grade colored pencils, with a light wash and a dash of semi-soft pastels for the background.

Colored pencil sketch with wash depicting model Rianne Van Rompaey wearing a Valentino ensemble. featured in the Spring issue of W Magazine.

Rianne Van Rompaey in Valentino

Sketching Schiaparelli

Brushwork, Projects Series

Last year while shopping used books, I happened upon one entitled: “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations”.

https://www.metmuseum.org/press/exhibitions/2012/schiaparelli-and-prada-press-release

To be more exact, this book is the catalog from the Metropolitan’s 2012 exhibition. Whenever buying a museum catalog, there are rarely previews of its contents. Priced at “a steal” level, I was stunned when it arrived; both the quality and quantity of images within are curated with imaginative consideration.

This sketch was done from a photo by Regina Relang in 1938. I do love “Persian Lamb” – as seen in this Elsa Schiaparelli jacket in its collar, cuffs, and gloves. [To be really forthcoming, I didn’t know what that curly black fabric was called until I researched it, mid-sketch!]

Mixed media used in greyscale rendering of an Elsa Schiaparelli outfit from 1938.

Schiaparelli Ensemble 1938

 

Shanelle on Parchment

Projects Series

Needing a break from my pen and ink studies, I looked to the Spring 2019 fashion pages. Vogue’s March issue has a profile piece on the [often] nomadic minded Rick Owens. As I just happened to have parchment paper within reach, I began sketching Shanelle Nyaiase [as photographed by Zoe Ghertner] and was intrigued with just how graphite appears in the process.

While colored pencils, understandably, might have been a bad turn… Yet I can never resist when an orange hue is involved!

Shanelle Wearing Rick Owens

My 2018 Holiday Muses

Brushwork, Projects Series, Seasonal Designs
A vibrant gouache painting which depicts three female muses in tribute to all arts

Arts Muses

The ability to imagine is a vital asset to us all. While not everyone uses this power for good, and then some very sadly don’t have access to its benefits, our imagination is the first step towards change and understanding and progress.

Generally speaking, I don’t share my personal woes with the virtual world. Yet, and with few exceptions, 2018 felt like one woeful day after another. Spring, Summer, and Fall seemed to simply pass me by… Like a year with nothing but a Winter of fear and discontent.

However, I am stubborn. No matter how bad things were, I remained committed each day in creating one thing or another. Such is the powerful force of art.

This year, now soon reaching to the next, I pay tribute to a variety of the Arts – by way of these muses. They are the graces of the written word, music & dance, and visual creations. Furthermore, they are also my saving graces.

As are all of you! Happy Holidays!!

 

That Twist

Brushwork, Projects Series

In the mid-Sixties, twenty year old German countess Vera Gottliebe Anna Gräfin von Lehndorff-Steinort was transformed into the now legendary model known as Veruschka. Photographer Richard Avedon, who I recall as that era’s Annie Leibovitz [as in “you know you’ve arrived if you’re posing for…”]  produced many of his fashion iconic images with Veruschka.  The stunning photo below was taken during Avedon’s tenure at Vogue.

Black and white photo of Veruschka taken by Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon photo of Veruschka, 1967

My own take on that photo became a kind of neon negative, done in gouache and watercolor:

Gouache and watercolor painting of Veruschka in reds and purple against a bright yellow background

That Twist

Nethery and Tilberg in “State of Grace”

Brushwork, Projects Series

For the sartorial minded September is the month that releases brick-heavy issues from Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. Furthermore, these September magazines are usually abundant with pages and pages for my own inspiration. But what is going on for 2018?! All I could see was a deluge of extremes. Puffy coats on steroids. Gym wear, ala haute couture. And, really?! A revival bringing the worst of the Eighties.

Yet, Marie Claire’s September offered some redemption. And it came by way of an editorial [no kidding!] titled “State of Grace”.  Photographer Robert Nethery uses an exquisite flood of light in his work, so that model Tasha Tilberg appears beautifully near-translucent.

A gouache portrait of Tasha Tilberg from a Robert Nethery photo in which she holds a small white dog

Nethery’s Tasha

Piera Gelardi

Brushwork, Projects Series

“There is a great strength and connection that can come from vulnerability, it connects us as humans.”~ Piera Gelardi

I painted Piera Gelardi before even learning her name. And I don’t typically find beauty ads to be all that rich insofar as inspiring me – yet, her face is featured in a series that was launched by Olay. Aside from her regal nose and mesmerizing eyes, Gelardi has a message I should keep with me, always!

Gouache painting of the face of Piera Gelardi

Piera

Natasha Ramsay-Levi Study

Brushwork, Projects Series

There is so much more behind my being mesmerized by Natasha Ramsay-Levi’s face that transcends the surface. Found in W Magazine’s Volume 4 2018 issue, I then went online to find out more about the photographer Paolo Roversi. Within the bio I’d located, I learned that Roversi’s first assignment for the AP was to cover Ezra Pound’s funeral – which alone is an auspicious start for a photographer’s journey. And in her position as creative director for Chloé, Ramsay-Levi has brought some extraordinary and admirable views and visions…

Photo by Paolo Roversi

My colored pencil depiction from the above:

 

Colored pencil with water sketch of natasha ramsay-levi

Life Drawing: Mid-Century Style

Brushwork, Projects Series

One can never predict what sort of setting will be staged before entering the studio since I’ve joined this life drawing group. For last night’s session, our model Ashley was seated upon a truly far-out, vintage, mid-century chair – with its matching turquoise ottoman! After bringing my sketches home, I was compelled to add color to this particular one. Yet, with a light hand. [Yeah – imagine that!]

ashley-with-overlay

Ashley in Mid-Century

 

Marisa by Penn

Brushwork, Projects Series

The actual title I give this painting is “A Girl Can Dream” – as Marisa Berenson has mesmerized me since my own childhood/girl years. A case of Marisa envy, if you will. And the photo behind the painting is another I’ve held onto for I-don’t-know-how-long! The original was shot by Irving Penn. [Interesting side note: My father had been a commercial photographer and disliked the work of Penn. However, he never elaborated on this.] And with as much credit compliance I can provide, I can only assume that this Penn assignment first appeared in Vogue. That is my guess and can also only speculate on the year it was taken.

An Irving Penn photo of Marisa Berenson, who is wearing a pink outfit

Marisa Berenson by Irving Penn

Plainly, a lot of artistic license factored in this. In addition to modifying her Adele Simpson outfit, I riffed a bit from Milton Glaser in transforming her hair. [See iconic image of Bob Dylan which Glaser illustrated for his greatest hits release, 1966.]

Gouache painting of an Irving Penn photo which features Marisa Berenson, with artistic modification of colors and hair

A Girl Can Dream

To Have and To Hold

Brushwork, Projects Series

In posting this painting, I fear becoming known as “That Tim Walker-crazed painter”. Not only that, but Tim Walker – or his agent, anyway – may not be all that keen in my depictions of his inspired settings and/or concepts behind his photo shoots. Be what may: I joined two of his photos together here. While his bride appeared in a 2016 issue of “British Vogue”, the model in black originated in a 2009 issue of “Italia Vogue”. And I could not resist the contrast!

Gouache painting depicting photographed models by Tim Walker

To Have and To Hold