This is Carly Berrett. She lives in New York City. She’s earned bachelors and masters degree in dance and has even taught on the university level. She’s following her dream. I really respect that. I appreciated her letting me portray her in oil paint. I wanted something with motion in it. I think it worked.
I get tired of painting all the time. Sometimes I want to do a free-flowing sketch. That happened today. I asked Norene to sit next to the window. I used brown nupastel to sketch her. First I put a light background, then began simply drawing the shapes of her head, eyes, nose and mouth. I didn’t do much shading. I lightly drew the contours of her face. I rubbed some of the shaded places with my thumb. I wanted to show the highlight of her eyes. This actually makes them come alive. It was relaxing to just let my emotions go for a minute.
It was a warm, sunny day. Redfish Lake in central Idaho. I was with my new bride. We were in love. We were excited with our enchanted life together. We ran, frolicked and splashed in the ice cold water. We didn’t have a care in the world.
Forty years later, I found a reel of super 8 movies of the trip. The film was so brittle it broke each time I touched it. Still, I was able to see selected frames. The picture quality was poor, but the feeling was wonderful. I remembered the magic. I got out a canvas and my oil paints. Rather than using a brush, I blocked out shapes and color with a knife. It’s kind of an abstract, but it brought back the feeling of that day.
I draw about four hours every day. I email the drawings to my mother. Recently she emailed me back, asking if I would please paint one of them. This is what I came up with. It’s a scene from the South Cornish coast of England. It has linear perspective – there is a vanishing point on the right side of the painting. Also is atmospheric perspective — the closer houses or boats are painted larger than the others. These two techniques give the illusion of depth. When doing water, I mirror the subjects in the water, then distort them.
This painting is 16″ x 20″, oil on canvas. $400.00 unframed.
The bicyclists lean slightly to the left as though they are starting to make a turn, creating the sensation of motion. The picture is dramatic with the light and dark contrasts. There is a feeling of depth with atmospheric and linear perspective — atmospheric because the person closest to the viewer is painted largest, then the next get smaller and smaller the further they go. Linear, since there is a vanishing point in the center of the picture. The road is wide at the bottom, then gets smaller where it ends in the middle.
This painting is 24″ x 36″, oil on canvas. The price is $1,500.00 unframed. If you want it let me know.
I found an old black and white photo of my parents and sister that was taken in 1949. My father was a graduate student at BYU. Mom stayed home to take care of their young child, Susan. Daddy has been dead now for twenty-two years. Mom lives alone in their house. Susie will be sixty-five in April. She spends a lot of time making sure Mom is okay.
I wanted to see if I could bring the picture alive. I had no idea what colors to use . The values were washed out in the photograph. I spent countless hours trying to figure it out. I worked over and over just experimenting with their skin color. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever attempted to do, but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. It got to the point that I felt like my father was there with me while I painted it.
A lot of people do painted portraits. Most of them try to make them photo-realistic. When I’m doing one, I’m painting more from emotion. Joyce is a very spontaneous, cheerful and happy person. I’ve tried to represent her personality with the lighting on her face, the highlight in her eyes, the flow of her hair and the wrinkles in her clothes.