Double Vision and Progress

Yesterday these two handsome people walked in and it took me five whole seconds to figure out how I knew them - I'd painted them last year! Here they're standing with the giclee print I had made of their portrait. The larger original was commissioned by Fairmont State University in West Virginia where Dr. Daniel Bradley had been president. He is now president of Indiana State University. Cheri Bradley was the first president's wife to be painted in the official portrait for that university. The Bradleys are a team and preferred that way of being portrayed. Cool, yes?
I painted online last night and made a little progress on the portrait of Angela and Aurora. In case you wonder, I love every part of the process of painting a portrait. Each piece of the puzzle that I get right is a little thrill. And last night I had the additional thrill of getting to talk with those who came to watch the broadcast, and with a friend who was in the studio with me.
I'm completely spoiled now.

Workshops and starting a commission

Last week was chock full: One four-week Painting Workshop had its last session on Monday, the Langley dedication was on Wednesday, and I had a two-day Portrait Workshop on Friday and Saturday. I'm glad not all weeks are so busy, but I did love every minute!
I completely forgot to get a photo of the ten wonderful artists who impressed me greatly with their brave work in the four-week workshop, but let me tell you- Peggy M, Marilyn, Glenda, Dolly, Lorelei and Rhoni drove down from Marble Falls, worked their tushies off and drove that long drive back each Monday. Peggy M, Ruby, Pam, Mary and Gaye didn't have so far to drive, but worked just as hard. I was honored to have each of them in the workshop.

I did manage to get a photo (above) of the Portrait Workshop artists: L-R: Pam, Shelley, Motoe, Nancy, Janet (me) and Sherrie- in New Braunfels, TX. The young blonde woman in the middle is my niece Stella who modeled on the second day. I came away with such respect for how hard these artists worked and for their passion to learn.
This was my demo for the painting workshop- Attempting to show thinking and painting in three main values as a way to begin each painting.
Yesterday, Monday, in a huge rainstorm, three artists still showed up for their first session of a four week workshop. They each pushed themselves past their comfort zones and we were all shocked when it was time to go. I love my work.
There's still room in the two day Portrait Workshop in Marble Falls (just west of Austin) November 3-4, in case you're ready to move your portrait skills forward and have a ton of fun at the same time- contact me for more info.
Angela and Aurora, 24"x18"
Today I began this portrait commission online. I had good company while I painted. It has a long way to go, but I already love the happy feeling it has.
Whatever it is you love to do, I hope you got a good healthy dose of it this week!

Langley Elementary School Dedication

Well, it was marvelous. Last night was the dedication of the new school that was named after Ralph Langley, the subject of the mural painting I finished recently. As I walked in the main entrance of the school, the mural hung facing me above the corridor directly opposite. In other words, you can't miss it! The original oil painting is two feet by 4 feet, and was presented at a luncheon yesterday to the law firm founded by Mr. Langley.
It was borrowed back briefly for the dedication last night, and brought on stage by two adorable children. I was invited up to be introduced as the artist responsible for the mural at the entrance to the school. Very nice.
The whole program was quite moving. It was a loving memorial to Mr Langley who died six years ago but who has left a lasting legacy here in San Antonio.
His daughter, Janis, was the spokesperson for her family at the luncheon and at the dedication, and is responsible for commissioning me to do the painting. I wrote her a thank you this morning and this was part of her reply:
I can't tell you how thrilled we are with your work, at every level. The design was way beyond what I expected (I don't know what I expected, really) but the notion of the print was true brilliance.
I hope and bet you will get further work from this- comments were made by NISD that this sets a new level for these "murals," so wouldn't that be great?
Thanks so much for being part of this effort, going above and beyond just doing a painting!
With deep appreciation,
Those are the kind of words that can keep an artist painting, don't you agree?
I had to document this... me dressed in something other than rumpled, paint-spattered clothes! My fabulous artist friend Laura Jeanne Pitts made the gorgeous jacket I'm wearing. I felt like a million bucks last night.
Now it's time to continue work on my lengthening schedule of commissioned portraits and also try to tuck in a competition painting or two along the way. Thank you to everyone who wished me well and kept me company as I painted the Ralph Langley mural painting!

Langley mural painting finished and other news.

If you check in on my blog or watch my broadcasts, you know that I've been working on this 24" x 48" painting for weeks. Today I finally signed it and got it to the photographer. Ralph Langley's name will be added to the image along the bottom and it will be enlarged to 48" x 96" , framed and hung at the new elementary school that has been named after Mr. Langley. The dedication ceremony and unveiling will be on October 21st. The original painting (without the digitally added name) will be hung at Langley & Banack, the law firm that he founded. I was honored to have been commissioned to make this painting, showing many of the elements of his life and parts of San Antonio that were improved because of his work.
Tonight, during my regular Wednesday evening broadcast at 6 p.m. Central, I'm starting a new, small painting of a very new child- a girl, two weeks old. Perhaps you'll come by?
I've decided to connect my blog posts to my newsletter again, so you'll be getting more frequent emails with my newest work, news of my workshops, and, well, news! I look forward to being in better touch.