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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAElen Costa absolutely loves Portugal.  I’ve been enthralled by her descriptions of the life, the scenery, the architecture and culture of her home.  I’ve been so blessed to have her as an art student. It seems to me that she portrays her art with a Portuguese attitude.  What a wonderful woman she is!  I’m so happy to know her.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARyan Victory’s parents contacted me to see if I’d do a painting of him and Kenzie,his wife-to-be. They wanted to give it to them for a wedding present.  It was exciting for me to portray their emotions as they were about to begin their life together.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAshton Wolf graduated from the American Academy of  Dramatic Arts in NYC and has been very active in the entertainment industry in both television and film.  He’s the artistic director and co-founder of the Nickel Plate Players.  He’s provided music services as a pianist, vocalist, music director, composer and/or arranger for Ray Charles, Van Dells, Disneyland, The Hilton Corporation, Toyota, Derby Dinner Playhouse, Frontier Hotel Las Vegas, the Queen Mary  in Long Beach CA, Casino Magic-Bay St Louis, and Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.  He is the winner of many  awards.

I wanted to paint him because he has had a dream and has given his all to achieve it. I’m so impressed.

 

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a still-life demo for one of the classes I teach.  I’m always looking for shapes and values — for example, the grapes have a shape that is very dark, another shape that is a medium value, and there is a highlight shape done with white paint.  Each item has shapes on it and I  think about painting individual shapes rather than thinking I’m painting “an apple.”

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMost people think of a “still-life” painting as something that has flowers in it.  To me, anything that is sitting motionless can be one.  For example, the salt, pepper, catsup, etc. at a restaurant.  What brings a painting to life is the separation of individual shapes and then painting them in their proper color or value.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have a Bradford Pear Tree in my front yard.  Each spring it is covered with little white blossoms.  I really hadn’t looked closely at them until this year.  I was surprised at how complex and beautiful they were.  I also was intrigued by the colors of the shadows and light on them so I decided to try to paint them.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor many years I’d take my canoe to Mirror Lake in the Uinta mountains of Utah.  It’s elevation is 10,000 feet above sea level.  I loved the smell of the pine trees and the sound of the birds chirping.  I always went first thing in the morning since the fishing was best then.  I caught thousands of rainbow and brook trout.

The contrast between the light sky and the dark trees gives drama to the scene.  The red canoe  and the person are the center point of the painting.

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