Thursday, March 27, 2008

La Vida Breve

I recently received a very nice message from Alfred Faltiska about this painting, La Vida Breve:

After a year of presenting contemporary painters on my site, after Jeremy Lipking, Anna Kryukova, Simon Balyon and all the other masters I had the pleasure to get to know, I still think La Vida Breve is the most beautiful painting I saw.

No, I didn't pay him to write that! Alfred featured my work on his very interesting blog last year, and has continued to spotlight a huge variety of artists. Thank you Alfred, and you've inspired me to create a post about the picture.

In 2006 I was approached by a couple who live in a fabulous National Historic Registry house in Baltimore. They had seen my painting Zarzuela and wanted to commission something similar for a large wall in their dining room. We agreed on the approximate size and shape, and then I began thinking about subject and reference material. I ended up in contact with the great Spanish flamenco dancer, Bettina Castaño, and used a photograph of her as the basis for the composition; the tortured pose appealed to me, and evokes the tension and drama of flamenco music. I invented the twirling disintegrating dress, the fan, and also came up with the background and the whippy lines (masked). I kept hearing Manuel de Falla's "Spanish Dance No. 1" from La Vida Breve as I painted it, and knew that had to be the title. Translated, it means "life is short" or "a brief life, " and perfectly describes the fleeting moment I was trying to capture.

The painting was delivered about five months later. The image is 30" x 60" and framed measures 40" x 70." Even I was impressed when I finally saw it hanging, surrounded by objects collected by this adventurous couple on their world travels. They are great people, wonderful patrons, and I hope I'll get a chance to do something for them again.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mne Nravitsa

Famous Russian song. Olga and I recorded this a while back, and I really love how she sings it. "Мне Нравиться" на слова Марины Цветаевой из К/ф Ирония судьбы или с легким паром!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

NES on DV Website

I'm featured on the homepage of the new Da Vinci website just launched. Other Da Vinci users will be featured regularly....let them know how you like their product!

I just finished another workshop that Da Vinci supplied fluid acrylic (and aprons!) for, and people loved it. The demonstration I did at the beginning of the class once again answered the questions and doubts of anyone with misconceptions about watercolor vs. acrylic. After a couple of days they were generally sold on it......another bunch of watercolorists who will be adding this paint to their arsenal and spreading the word!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Plaza Art Workshop

This weekend I'm doing a 2-day workshop at Plaza Art in Rockville, MD. The class sold out very quickly and had a large waiting list, so they've invited me to do another, June 21-22. Plaza is a chain of a dozen retail art stores in this part of the country, and they host lots of workshops. This one is sponsored by Da Vinci Paint.

Other workshops are always being added to the schedule, see the Workshop page on my website for information.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fallbrook Art Center

"Fresh Sushi" (right) at Fallbrook Art Center.

Award-Winning National Watermedia Fine Art Show has been running at the Fallbrook Art Center in California, until March 16. "Fresh Sushi" is featured on the homepage of the center's website, and there are more pictures here. The show will travel to the Bountiful/Davis Art Center, in Bountiful, Utah, April 1 - May 20.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Salsa Ruso

Olga and Larissa tear up the dance floor.