Marathon Report

Last Saturday, I participated in a ten-hour marathon of painting (or drawing) one brave model.  The day was broken into three 3-hour segments, with half-hour breaks for nourishment at lunchtime and dinnertime.  The location was the studio of Adrienne Silversmith, the same studio where we meet regularly on Monday mornings.

We started with a few quick poses to enable the artists to get warmed up, so I had less time for the longer morning pose and brought nowhere near a satisfying conclusion.  I like the hands, though.


The afternoon went better for me:

Afternoon Pose from the Marathon

Afternoon Pose from the Marathon

That’s Larry Christian in the background.  He works in compressed charcoal (no wiping out!) and doesn’t do long poses, so he would move around the room to get different angles on our model.  He came around and plopped himself down in the chair I had been painting into my background, so there he is permanently ensconced in my painting.  For many years, Larry taught life drawing at the NH Institute of Art; I took his course twice.  There’s a blog post on that subject here (“Catching the Odd perspective”) and here (“Struggle with Compressed Charcoal”).

While painting away, we got to talking about a certain style of painting that has intrigued me for several years now.  It’s not merely “loose”, it’s destructive!  Adrienne described it more charitably, as construction, then de-construction.  It fascinates me because I like it, and I can’t figure out why I like it.  Here are a few links provided by Adrienne to artists that, to one degree or another, practice this style:

For those of you too lazy to click on a link, here is an example by Maggie Siner:

Portrait by M. Siner

Portrait by M. Siner

Anyway, after six hours of painting, I felt brave enough to try something like it.  I first painted a fairly straightforward figure, and then I started messing with the edges.  Then I messed with the edges of the changes in values.  By the time I quit, I had pretty much had pixelated the entire painting:


My result is more pointillist than the style I wanted to emulate, but I kind of love it. For the foreseeable future, I plan to run with it.  But I’m still puzzled as to why it works, and my efforts are probably doomed to fail if I cannot figure that out.  Is it the illusion of movement?  Mine looks as if you are looking through glass bathed in water.  So my surface is the moving part, whereas the figure in Maggie Siner’s painting would be the moving part in hers.  Obviously, I am not even close to the ultimate goal, but I’m on my way.  Perhaps.

Here are works from a few of my fellow marathoners, Nancy C and Cindy A, and I’m pretty sure if you’ve been following along, that you’ll have no trouble identifying Nancy’s painting.  Cindy is one of the Cornwall Four, four of us who took Cameron Bennett’s 2013 workshop (inspired by the Cornwall painters of yore) and thereafter painted en plein air together on a regular basis.  Discussed here perhaps.



Aline Lotter is currently exhibiting:

at the East Colony Fine Art Gallery in Manchester (Langer Place, 55 S. Commercial St., Manchester, NH); at the Bartlett Inn in Bartlett;  at the Bernerhof Inn in Glen; at the New London Inn in New London; at the law offices of Mesmer and Deleault at 41 Brook St in Manchester.

Very, very soon, the annual Love, Lust and Desire show at the McGowan Gallery in Concord opens!  January 30 (Friday) 5-7 p.m. is the reception.  Over 70 artists are participating.  Unfortunately, I can’t be there because I signed up for another Snow Camp with Stapleton Kearns.  I have ten pieces in the McGowan show, mostly nudes, all 8×11, all priced at $150 each.  Original oil paintings for only $150!  So definitely check it out if you like my nudes.

As usual, you may view paintings with prices and order prints, iPhone cases and the like at my Fine Art America page. If the painting you are interested in is not there, or if you prefer to bypass that experience, you may contact me by email to

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10 responses to “Marathon Report

  1. Nice work Aline! I think your “afternoon” piece is very successful; I also like this new style you are pursuing.


  2. Hi again Aline! I am reminded again , because I believe you are at a point in your art experience where you are looking for adventure, of Tim Harney. I took a course with Tim at UNH which was indeed very difficult…Tim teaches that there is no way that ,in three hours, that anyone drawing a portrait can come to the conclusion that there is a nose on that face. In three hours time you are just getting the feel of the model. If you or anyone would assume a challenge, please look up Tim . I believe he also teaches at the DeCordova in Ma.
    Please let me know how it goes 🙂


      • Hi Aline, Please do not mis-understand me…. Right now you paint the entire figure or portrait in three hours or less; Tim teaches that the hand of the supposed artist is moving in imaginary horizontal and vertical movements at ALL time during his sessions…a dot may be placed here or perhaps there but in no way , with his technique, can you come to any definite conclusions about say a nose, an eye or anything that you are drawing or painting. I only used the nose as an example of what it is like to work with Mr. Harney. I wish you could see his early renditions of “a face” They are BEAUTIFUL! An example would be…a very fine piece of burnished leather but a portrait as you have never seen! So exciting to see his work but SO discouraging to try to emulate his concept. Sometimes he holds a twelve hour class in which he weeds out the “faint of heart” I strongly recommend you to Tim Harney. I believe that this is the way for you to proceed for the artist within you that still remains to make it’s appearance.
        I love your determination. It is a strong hunger that needs to be helped to fruition. Best to you, Janice


  3. I really, really like the first. One of your best. Beautiful ligjt and color. I like the last as well, but i think the other is more powerful. Still, it is worth playing around with breaking up forms like this.