The Wood Nymph – sold

nymph (3)

Oil on canvas, 12″x9″

This is my version of a Pre-Raphaelite wood nymph. She’s an ethereal, enchanted creature who wanders unscathed through misty woods in a diaphanous gown. Bedecked with a floral crown and clusters of violets in her flowing locks, she seems a bit wary and ready to take flight.

Inspired by the fanciful art of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, in particular the later work of John William Waterhouse, I kept this painting delicate and impressionistic. I like the effect of the silvery light and the soft brushwork which allows the figure to merge with her natural surroundings. I enjoyed painting this figure within the natural scene and how it hints at a story. This is a theme I may explore further in future.

The original painting is sold but fine art prints in various forms are available here

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Portrait Study of a Young Woman – sold

vanessacam (2)

Oil on canvas, 12″x9″

In this study I wanted to work on a classic portrait while exploring cool skin tones and looser brushwork. I also wanted to change things up a bit from my more stylized portraits based on black and white photos of ladies from long ago. I found some lovely violets and blues in this portrait of a beautiful dark haired girl with almost translucent skin. The result is a contemporary realist portrait with a lively surface quality and casual elegance.

When I look at my work in retrospect I realize that I favor painting faces and figures but I don’t always have the most consistent style. This is considered a bad thing in the art world but I draw upon different inspirations and get bored painting the same way over and over. It would be nice to have a distinct and recognizable look. I’m hopeful a strong visual identity will emerge in time even if I don’t exactly know how that happens.

Persephone – sold

persephone (2)

Oil on canvas, 12″x9″

I was thinking of Persephone, the goddess of spring when I painted this. Winter is only just beginning here, the trees are bare but I’m already dreaming of fresh unfurling leaves and tender budding flowers. There’s something both old-fashioned and modern about this portrait, hints of flower-crowned festival girls, June brides and Pre-Raphaelite beauties.

Portrait of a Redhead – sold

Redhead

Oil on hardboard panel, 10″x8″

Playing with color again. The starting point for this painting was an old black and white photo so that left a lot of room for invention. I’m not sure where the red hair came from but she seemed to want to be a redhead and it was fun to paint.

I’m finding that conveying emotion is increasingly important to me in these “portraits”. Even though they are largely invented from my imagination they also seem to create themselves and have their own personalities. Happily, I’m starting to relax with this odd feeling that I’m not in complete control and trusting what emerges in my paintings.