Today, I am still wiped out by the effort of participating in a two-day event called “Art in Action.” The Londonderry Arts Council puts it on twice a year. They were also responsible for the Art in t he Common show last fall which bravely welcomed my nude paintings. They also set up the arrangement with the Leach Library whereby nine of my paintings are displayed there. The Londonderry Arts Council is quite an admirable organization of many artists. Since we have nothing comparable in Manchester, I am grateful that they allow all regional artists to benefit.
Participation entails setting up an area to display your artwork — a mobile gallery of sorts– and space where you demonstrate your art-making–a mobile studio. I kept it simple by displaying only 10 framed paintings, a few giclee prints and two cards. Cards (note cards) seem to be the one thing everyone else had lots of. I sold one of my two, which made for a pretty good percentage of cards sold! For my Day One demonstrating, I continued on my single-minded quest to capture a likeness of Margaret, and once again failed. Everyone else thought it was a wonderful painting, but they don’t realize how woeful the likeness is.
This is actually Margaret. After painting her from life last Tuesday, I tried two more times, using the photo in black and white, to draw her features in black and white.
And here is the painting from the photo:
Margaret herself has advised me that if I put in the moles, that would make her recognizable, but whether I am drawing her with paint or charcoal, I truthfully do not see the moles at all.
My frustration leads me to understand why many artists resort to the projecting an image onto the canvas, instead of drawing it freehand. Hmmm. Should I try that? To do so would certainly not help me improve my drawing skills, but I suppose if I had a photograph in front of me and a commission to paint from it, the projector would be a valuable shortcut, almost irresistible. I’ll wait for the day when I have a commissioned portrait to paint and the subject cannot for some reason sit for it, and then decide whether to succumb to the projector.
For Day Two, my daughter graciously agreed to sit for her live portrait, which included an accessory–her miniature Pomeranian sitting on her lap. I’m happy with the Pomeranian, less so with my daughter–their portraits, that is.
The weekend ended on a high note: I had to part ownership with my Girl in the Red Headdress, as a young woman fell in love with it on Day One, and even though she felt she could not afford to buy it, came back on Day Two after having dreamt about it. It reminded me so much of my first big art purchase. I fell in love on Day One and came back on Day Two to take the plunge. The artist, Roger Graham, became a client and a friend, and by the time he died, I owned probably ten (whose counting?) of his paintings, some hanging at my law office and some at my home/studio. I never regretted a single purchase. If you buy what you love (not what you think will be a good investment), you will never regret it. I was happy for her and for The Girl, who has found, in animal rescue parlance, her new forever home.
Aline Lotter is currently exhibiting:
at the Hatfield Gallery in Manchester (Langer Place, 55 S. Commercial St., Manchester, NH); at the Bartlett Inn in Bartlett; at the Red Jacket Inn in North Conway; at Stella Blu , an American Tapas restaurant in Nashua; at her law offices at 41 Brook St in Manchester; and at her studio by appointment. Beginning May 1 through May 30, nine of her Boston Arboretum paintings will be displayed at the Leach Library in Londonderry, NH.