Ups and Downs

Yes, it has been a few weeks since I last posted.  No, I have not got sick again.  But I have been floundering a wee bit.  It almost seems that as I practiced my landscapes and learned my florals, I forgot how to paint a portrait.  That disappointment cast a pall over all my work.  But I’m following my own advice, the second major rule of art-making:  Don’t Give Up.  (I guess the first rule would have to be:  So Try Already.)

It helps that I have a second successful floral painting to show off–what a high it is, to create something that surprises you with its beauty:

Floral Painting No. 2--Roses

Floral Painting No. 2–Roses

This floral is the second of three projects that will eventually emanate from the Floral Painting course I am taking at the NH Institute of Art with Deirdre Riley.  I missed three classes because of the Florida sojourn, but I needed only the two weeks remaining to me for this painting.  Two weeks equals six hours of painting.  I could actually paint a living floral arrangement and get it done before the flowers started to wilt.  But I’m not that energized anymore.  My batteries only last three hours.

Coincidentally, the annual Petals to Paint event comes this week–TOMORROW actually, to East Colony Fine Art.  About 20 floral designers are designing and putting together a (live) flower-based sculpture inspired by the painting that each chose a month ago.  One of the designers chose my “Nap, Interrupted” (the very large cat portrait) as her inspiration.  If I had a six-hour battery, I’d be able to go in after hours at the Gallery and make a painting of her creation.

The reception for Petals to Paint is Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m., but the exhibit will remain up for the next two days.  The address is 55 South Commercial Street in Manchester, NH.   I’m very sorry to report that this will be the last P2P at this location, and one of the last receptions for East Colony at this location.  We decided not to renew our lease because not enough of our artists were willing to commit to the continuance of the Gallery.  On May 14, we will host our last reception, a kind of farewell party. Our last day will be May 30.

The portraits that I have been wrestling with are mostly of Margaret, although I have to confess my last portrait of Aubrey was no keeper either.  I was trying so very hard to get a likeness of Margaret in two 3-hour sessions, that I lost my perspective over the works as entire pieces.  I was going to post pictures of these failures but I lost my nerve.  Just trust me–you don’t need to see them.

Of course, my response has been to try harder.  At SLG (Saturday Life Group) we had a new model, a very young tall lanky guy named Andrew.  I had wanted to concentrate on portraiture, but all I got was the back of his head for the first long pose (“long” in this group means 45-50 minutes).

The Back of Andrew

The Back of Andrew

The last pose gave me the opportunity I sought.

Generic Head

Generic Head

The problem with this “portrait” is that it is largely invented.  He held his head in this position for perhaps five minutes, then it started dropping, dropping, until finally his chin was on his chest.  I continued with my original version, filling in what I already knew about faces, treating it as some kind of memory exercise.

This Monday, in order to conquer the whole problem of Margaret, I announced she was in it for a two-week pose.  All I needed was more time, was my reasoning.  But when I saw the pose, I could not resist included her gesture and the yellow dress.  This is my Work in Progress:

Girl in Yellow (WIP)

Girl in Yellow (WIP)

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 Red Jacket Inn in North Conway; and at the law offices of Mesmer and Deleault at 41 Brook St in Manchester.

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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6 responses to “Ups and Downs

    • I wonder. Suddenly I recall a painting I did in 1964. I was taking an oil painting night class at the Museum School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. We did three elaborate still lifes, including a trompe l’oeil element; one head and shoulders from a live model; and then a less complicated still life, a vase of fresh mums with other scattered elements. The last produced the liveliest painting, so much so that the instructor asked me if I enjoyed painting the flowers a lot more than the other subject matter. I shrugged it off at the time.

      Then again, my mother, like her entire family, was a florist and a flower arranger and a gardener.

      Most of those early still lifes are on view at the law offices of Mesmer and Deleault. The head and shoulders lies beneath one of my abstract landscapes. >


  1. This floral is stunning… I like the contrast on the closed bud and also on the leaf and blossom on the table, the ribbons lead your eye down and the dark background , so dramatic….and soft edges…really nice.

    …and Margaret in a yellow dress!! I’m bummed that I missed that session, but looks like I’ll have another chance.
    This is a lovely pose, but isn’t it interesting how the clothing brings out an expression of the models personality and adds to who they are or how we interpret them.
    Honestly, after this long cold winter we’re so thrilled to see a little color and LIFE!!!!

    Nice job Aline.


  2. Welcome home Aline, it is good to have you back in Ol’ New England, just in time for a perfect day such as this! Hope you get outdoors to gift us with another of your landscapes and postings about your excellent work! I think because of your early work with your Mother, you are so more familiar and combine the love of those days past with your love and energy of painting today. Bless your Soul and wishes for your continued prosperity! Best to you, Janice 🙂


  3. Pingback: Drama in Green | Paintings by Aline