Rather recently I had a musing of combining a strong female face to be painted in Payne’s Grey and black and then superimpose a vividly colored floral over it. But, whose face?
I’ve seen many images of model Ruth Bell. I just didn’t know know that I had…
Not until the June/July 2019 issue of Harper’s Bazaar had arrived. In its editorial titled “The New Florals”*, photographer Sebastian Kim is brilliant in harmonizing the setting with saturated patterned fashions which don’t diminish Ruth’s presence in the least. Better yet, my search for the face I wanted was found after seeing Ruth Bell hold her own in a bold Balenciaga kimono.
Sebastian Kim photo of Ruth Bell, Harper’s Bazaar
I then scoured Ruth Bell’s [hopefully, to be forgiven] Instagram and fell for a shot of her, wonderfully unplugged…
Ruth Bell, Watercolor 2019
*I’d feel derelict if I did not give mention to the fantastical location, being “Quesalcoatl’s Nest” in Naucalpan, Mexico. This oasis was designed by architect Javier Senosian.
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.
Richard Avedon photo of Veruschka, 1967
My own take on that photo became a kind of neon negative, done in gouache and watercolor:
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 in Mid-Century
Twenty years or so [gulp!] had passed since my occasional forays with life drawing groups. Three weeks ago I decided to delve in again after finding a group here in Mystic. This prospect was not without a fair amount of personal fear… Yet, the members of this group, who are all quite talented and skilled individuals? They made me feel not only made me welcome and [very much needed] encouraged! And for last night’s session, I brought my own box of colors along. From the image here, you can see I ditched my graphite pencils mid-way and went bananas with the colors.
First, an apology to adorable model Hyunji Shin. When working from Terry Tsiolis’ photo [in an editorial from the July 2018 issue of Elle] my foremost intent was to depict this incredible outline of the Marc Jacobs gown; I hardly did justice in Hyunji’s face! Yet, painting wet on wet is still rather foreign to me. One has to relinquish a lot of control – and those who know me will understand…
Hyunji in Marc
There are fashion magazine clippings which I have kept in a binder over the years… [And I do try to keep impulsive clipping at a reasonable binder management level. To “try”, being relative.] My most recent muse came by way of W Magazine and, more to the point, photographer Willy Vanderperre. His photograph offered me two elements I could not resist: lovely hand gesturing and challenging shadows. And I title this as Shear over Sheer because most challenging for me was in knowing when and what to omit.
Shear Blue Gloves
From a Rossettiesque photo by Peter Lindbergh, a Galliano gown is featured. I liked the near weariness in the model’s pose. And while the original photo [featured in Vogue, I believe] had her set against dark greens and what looked like ivy growing from the ground, I chose to add a bed of Iris instead. As my own Iris is now in bloom, will I follow them?
There is an adorable model who is not entirely depicted in this piece. And when I searched on photographer Marc de Groot’s online portfolio to look for her name, it couldn’t be found… But it was her hands that I loved most. Me, being me, I took some liberties with both her hair and the corset she wore. Maybe I should be calling her “Little Peacock”?
*Also, a thanks to the inspired work of Mr Barry Blitt!
I suppose it was inevitable. The time of arrival – when I would no longer have a mutually exclusive relationship with my own works. While I enjoy the kindness and support of my web base, hand rendered art really needs to be exposed to natural light. All of this to say, my own is now up at the Green Marble Coffee House for the entire month. And I would love for you to have a look!
September Show at Green Marble
The gown. That hair! Solange, that is. And with such an already musical name like that, why call this anything else? The source of it all can be seen on Elle.
I used some metallic watercolors for this 9″ x 12″ painting – a size which exceeds my scanning bed. The glint of the metallic gets lost on a monitor but I’m happy enough with the outcome here.
Rita Ora is featured within “Paper” magazine’s October issue, wearing a Roberto Cavalli dress – which in reality is what I would call a peacock-blue color. While Rita is a sensation, that Cavalli dress just had to taken for my Diaphanous series. And whatever the blue that it is, I rendered it instead in orange. The two alien objects depicted were taken from the same editorial [photographed by Nicolas Moore – no relation] are tracings from Rita’s zig zag bobby pinned crown.
Among my collection of books on Buddhism, “Tibet” by Michael Willis is a personal favorite for its enhanced colors in the book’s photographs. Tibetan monks can be seen wearing majestic hats, which are shaped like crests and appear as if they are rays of the sun upon their heads. Yet there are also more sobering photos of traditional prayer flags that have been reduced to tatters – although still casting wishes of world peace. This 8″ x 7.5″ was painted with both watercolors and ink.
“Gelug-pa” [Yellow Hat]