“Musicians are a lively, accomplished and diverse group of people, so portrait painters of course love to paint them,” says Carolyn. “The men and women pictured in this show cheerfully allowed me free rein, not knowing what the outcome might be. They are friends and acquaintances from the Tune Jam Band here in Cambridge, the Sage City Symphony in North Bennington, local bluegrass/country musicians who play in a lot of venues around here, and family. The family is used to it, of course.
“Musicians with their instruments obviously are automatically double portraits, so that’s two things the painter needs to get right. I begin a painting by making a loose freehand oil sketch directly on the canvas. You have to be able to draw, and there’s no shortcut. Painters need to understand how a person, animal, plant, even a violin, is put together and breathes and moves if there is ever going to be any real life in the final portrait. And then there’s all that business of learning to handle your paint. Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours applies in art too. So I hope you’ll see some life in these pictures. I’ve had so much fun doing them!
“I’ve loved oil paints ever since I was a kid–the rich colors, the smell of turpentine, the infinite flexibility of the medium–and people of all types and ages are my favorite subject. For convenience, I work mostly from my own photographs; live sitters are a rarity, plus fleeting expressions are easier to hold onto in a photo. I sketch in paint directly on the canvas, and my style is what is called painterly realism. Composition is the most important, followed by color and draftsmanship. A painting should be fresh and beautiful for its brushwork, interesting both close up and from a distance. We’ve all seen pictures that give us “The Feeling,” and that’s my goal, to catch life on the canvas.”
Opening Reception on Saturday, September 2nd, 3-5 p.m.; a brief gallery talk by the artist is at 4 p.m. Light refreshments and opportunity to chat with other artists.