Chapin2013

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Homepage: http://gallery.deborahchapin.com

Shipping Water Portrait Invincible to RJD Gallery

Well I went through lots of attempts at finding a box that was perfect for a 24×36 and ended up shopping in my own workshop 34×42.    Decided to opt for an old Airfloat box 3442 with liner for shipping “Invincible” up to the RJDGallery .   Here’s the process of packing it up.

created a front double corrugated cardboard with glassine paper to put towards the front of the painting since the varnish was taking its good sweet time drying.

Had two other pieces of double corrugated on with end of the painting with bubble pack adhered to the inside. step1

Laid the two pieces of bubble pack cardboard on either side on top of a piece of foam,

painting in the middle

step2

and

step4bungi corded the whole thing in place and then

 

final boxtaped the box back to new condition… ie I used a lot :-)

If you want to find out more about this painting you can read more about my “Book of Water” Project and this painting starting here: Invincible, Water Portrait by Deborah Chapin

P. S.

I had a whole saga with FedEx yesterday, where I spent an hour on the phone trying to get the box that they offer on their website called large art box but for some reason they have no actual way of ordering the box… dah earth to FedEX had they had more problems understanding what I was asking for so I had to take a chill pill after that.

At any rate, the painting is boxed and ready to go after much ado and a fair amount of milling around so and it should make it from MD to NY by September 4th… Shipping out today.

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Preview of coming attractions… Starting a New Portrait

preview of coming attractions. started a new piece of Josie… #womenpaintingwomen #portrait #femaleportrait #deborahchapin

Women Painting Women, New Painting in Progress #womenpaintingwomen #portrait #femaleportrait #deborahchapin

Women Painting Women, New Painting in Progress- Josie #womenpaintingwomen #portrait #femaleportrait #deborahchapin

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Embarrassment of Riches – Portraits of Women – Figurative Art

Have you ever felt that you have embarrassment of riches.  That is what I feel right now, I’ve been working on 6 new images preparing them for painting and I’m was just torn between them,  sort of the reaction I had when I was a kid deciding which present to open first.    Yesterday, I decided on the first one and did several drawings and started the laying in of the work to start.  Today I refined the drawing and am working on the light and dark patterns and background lay-in.  I hope by changing up my process a little to have 4 pieces well on their way this month.   I just can’t believe my good fortune to have stumbled into such amazing resource for painting.  By the end of the week I hope to have a lot of the painting lined up.   More Later…  #wip #womenpaintingwomen #figurativeart #deborahchapin #portrait #woyew

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“Invincible” selected for the Women Painting Women 2015 at the RJD Gallery in Sag Harbor, NY

Invincible, 24 x 36 oil on linen canvas, by Deborah Chapin. Women Painting Women RJD Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY

Invincible, 24 x 36 oil on linen canvas, by Deborah Chapin. Women Painting Women RJD Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY

Thrilled to have my painting “Invincible” selected for the Women Painting Women 2015 at the RJD Gallery in Sag Harbor, NY artists include: Laura Atkins, Nancy Boren, Rebekah Bynum, Kristine Campbell, Deborah Chapin, Candice Chovanec, Stephanie Deshpande, Carla Falb, Shana Levenson, Sylvia Nitti, Isabel Olivares, Omalix, Cindy Rizza, Beth Sistrunk, Rebecca Tait, Rea Whalen, Daryl Zhang

In addition they will also exhibit the artwork of our gallery artists:

Mary Chiaramonte* | Teresa Elliott | Tracey Harris | Haley Hasler |
Pam Hawkes* | Andrea Kowch | Rachel Moseley* | Katie O’Hagan | Odile Richer* | Margo Selski | Adrienne Stein* | Sherry Wolf | Pamela Wilson
*Indicates artists who started with us during #WPW – Women Painting Women

 

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Working on a the puzzle of painting. Portrait of Women.

I’ve been working on a new piece which is like doing a 10,000 piece puzzle.  I’m on my 3rd version of the subject in charcoal, expanding the composition and refining the concept.  This morning I decided that along with this composition I ought to try a second one and develop both at the same time, then decide which one was “the one”.     Part of the fascination of doing paintings is the discovery of line, shape, color, tone, light and darks, emotional expression through all these things and the personal discovery of skill levels and growth.    For example I did a free guesstimate of placement then checked myself and find that I have miles to go.

So I started with just the head neck and shoulders of one of the poses.  This Charcoal gave be some of the basic concepts of what I was going to be dealing with.  Twist of the head, focus point, lines of movement and some very scary light lines.

Portrait of Women, Josie head,  19x28 charcoal on Canson paper.  Women Painting Women

Portrait of Women, Josie head, 19×28 charcoal on Canson paper. Women Painting Women

 

Today I’m working on arms, elbows, hands and deciding on the composition of the first piece.  Then onto stir and repeat for the 2nd composition.  I’m just chomping at the bit to get going with the next stage… but I’m disciplining myself to nail that composition.

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Paintings of Women, Book of Water Project Progresses

Time is flying by and soon summer will be over,  I was thinking the other day, that I don’t think that I have ever been as busy as I have been this past couple of years.  Creating a new portfolio and organizing the archives.

I’m working on a new piece right now which is a good puzzle.  The pose is amazing with a new model “Josie” and I was so psyched when this magic combination appeared.    The painting has a lot of elements in it, we’re working with so many elements and basically painting with water, hair, figure and light before any brush hits the canvas.    We are both discovering that it is incredibly difficult to control the media :-) of water and light.  Like not possible.  But coaxing it in the right direction and then waiting to see what transpires makes it all worthwhile.  This takes the whole process to another level in composition and so I’ve been working through problems in structure using the charcoals and breaking down the elements.   The models and I have also been working hard to evolve what we’re doing.  Lots of hurdles and lots of learning so, the Book of Water progresses but not in a straight line.  I’ll post a charcoal when it is ready.

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Busy as a Bee in Spring, the quest for studio nirvana

2015 is shaping up to be a busy and productive time in my life, thus far… lots of changes coming and I’m hustling up to be proactive in the change.   I am looking for a new studio/ house and have changed my parameters several times over the past 6 months.  I’m not sure but I think I am getting closer to making it work.   I decided that rather than looking for an existing house with a giant barn and everything all perfectly ready to move in…  (which would be a little isolating since most barns are out in the middle of nowhere) instead I think I’ll build a new garage/ workshop and tweak it and develop an existing property.      Sounds easier than it is in reality.  Thus the house just has to be functional for lifestyle, be located in a nice area, reasonably priced with a modest amount of land to build a garage on, much easier to find (still not easy but plausible).   Since I changed the parameters of my search on Redfin I have been flooded with possibilities sort of clueing me in that this was the way to go.  I found this website which has blue prints / plans for use in building something like this and I am like a kid in a candy store.  This is the one seems to be a good layout http://www.thegarageplanshop.com/050g-0042.php    I am not sold on the finish and I think it would have to go with whatever house it sets next to but the interior layout is right.   I currently have about 300 square feet in which I have crammed a large easel, workbench, drawing table, model stand, book-case, shelving all over the walls and every nook is filled, I can barely walk through (this doesn’t include the garden tools, my grandmother’s knickknacks) which is why you won’t see my current studio in-house beautiful.   This garage gives me 807 sf on the main level and another 989 in the loft area.  Hurrah!!!  So I would able to do larger work and this would enable me to transport large work out of the studio as well.   Moral of the story:  If you aren’t finding a solution one way try another perspective, change-up the search and the pieces of the solution will start to appear.

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Update: New works in Progress & Things

I was going to write this yesterday, but I was running behind schedule and I have really been trying to discipline my wandering nature to stay on course with my systems outline… that is another story.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the pros and cons of being an artist and several discussions on Facebook have really sparked a fire under me.   One that I read this morning referenced being ashamed/ embarrassed  by “calling yourself an artist”.    I’ve never been reticent to say “I’m an artist” because what I give up on the economic side I more than make up for in the luxury side of space, time and thought.    Just think about it for a minute.    What is the true luxury of life.  The top 1% look for that quiet island, that vast expanse of space to surround themselves with quiet and peace to focus their thoughts and the luxury of time to do what they want.    I’ve had all that pretty much continuously for 30 years.  Minus a few times when I’ve had to punt,  I can go out in the middle of the field or stand on a beach and spend hours by myself painting in the quiet thought and contemplation of nature.   And then at the end I usually have a painting the takes me back to that place time and place…. until someone one else buys the piece so they can take a visit.     I can go back and do it again and again and live in complete harmony with my mind / body and the world around me.      We really worry too much about things here in the States.  Right now due to personal circumstances my travel is limited, but I can explore the interior world and paint that… Sometimes, I think that having a 6 figure income might be nice, but there is really no reason to think that I should be ashamed of calling myself an artist because I don’t.    Economics is just a basis for living it isn’t actually living.    The richness of experience counts as well, good food, good friends, art and culture, nature these are the things which are treasures.   Doing what you have talent in and following your bliss creates a richness of experience and that is worth more than all the gold in the world.  As a side note to artist:  if you ever are forced to give up the painting for awhile, DO NOT despair.    Life throws curves but the boomerang out of the curve is worth it.    You’ll find, like I am, that you appreciate all that it means to be an artist (the positives) so much more and you’ll also find that time has eliminated most of the negatives while you were away.  I really think that now is a better age for women artists than it was in 2008…. and like I said I’m not dead yet so…

New Paintings:  I’ve been working on four pieces at the same time,  I decided I needed to do in order to produce the work I hope to have done by the fall.  There are in the process of painting these pieces, pauses, where you have to stop… This has taken a lot of getting used to because by nature I’m go-get-em kind of girl.  I love to swirl and push around in paint creating things …  but I realize also that I need to bridle myself in a bit and appeal to the delicate creeping forward part of my mind with this type of painting using scumbling and laying.  I’m working on two paintings where I want to rework a portion of the background, one where I’m just finishing up the final touches, one where the water isn’t started yet and one in the beginning phases… wait that is five!  oh I am getting carried away.  I guess I’m having a kid in the candy store experience because for a few years I had to just take care of surviving,  getting back into painting has been a renewed treat.

 

Preview of coming attractions: penny-1

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Female Portrait Posing… studio vs natural setting

First off, I am no longer posting news to Facebook for the reasons stated on my Facebook Statement here*  For that reason if you are hoping to see my news you needs to subscribe by email to this newsletter or follow this blog, or my twitter page.  Those sources are unedited by the platform.

Now onto something new….

This morning I watched a video on Posing for Female Portraits
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1378&v=53egEtufcjg

In it the Author Jeff Smith (photographer) made several definite no nos all of which I found myself decisively violating.  I thought it would be a good exercise for myself to analyze my new work and discover my thoughts about why I wanted to violate the “rules of portrait” according to a portrait photographer.  The reason I picked a photographer’s guidelines is that it is a little removed from painting… providing a different perspective and maybe a little more market oriented than the rules painters use…   Now I must first comment that this photographer is doing portrait photography for clients who want to serve a particular purpose.    As such he isn’t trying to do art per se but satisfy clients… But it does give a window into what all clients think and as such I found it good information.  However,  I was in accord with his idea that the traditional pose of the past wasn’t working anymore because the modern woman just isn’t passive or submissive (thank goodness).  Also most of this is directed towards portraits of women, which is my focus at the moment… not that men are worthy :-) just a different focus.  He does mention men, but alas men you are getting very little time on the radar here.  Sorry.

So granted he is talking about portraiture for a different purpose i.e. the Traditional Business Portrait, or Casual Portrait done for Parents or Family or Glamorous Portrait for your husband or boyfriend.  I am using the portrait to describe the inner dynamic and for the portrait in a context of natural light with dynamic use of color and light i.e. as a design element for the environment of the client.  But this made me realize that maybe artist’s need to consider the new possibility of posing outside of the box for the modern age, and sticking to the traditional posed portrait sitting in a chair or standing by a desk or posed portrait of school models while being admirable in skill isn’t likely to be relevant to clients…

So keeping all that in mind here are his 4 posing no nos the first two I am definitively doing the opposite…
1. never pose the face away from the light…. he is talking about the controlled environment of the studio or controlled lighting environments.   So first off I don’t have the space to do a controlled environment study or even sketch… which was the main reason I started plein air painting in the first place… I didn’t have a studio per se.  However, when I started working outside, I found enjoyed everything about it particularly the certain serendipity of elements.    Light fading, unusual color combination, unique shapes and patterns… Natural settings, strong lighting effects with interesting bouncing light, and high contrasts is my thing.   This allows the artist to create high key, dramatic effects with color and light.  Obviously you don’t want the subject to become deformed but I feel that in a natural setting, the subject more than likely can’t open her eyes if they are squinting into the natural light of the sun, so looking away is natural, and within that setting one can discover very intriguing subjects particularly using lighting to describe the face contours with sculptural lines.  I find that after my initial three years of pieces I was ready to explore this aspect, and chomping at the bit to do so.   So although the modern photographer has updated posing to the present century they haven’t gone further out on the limb, which is definitely where I am at,  and updated to the next level ie the action, moving and dynamic posing possible in real life settings.
2. never square off the body to the camera…  Well I guess if someone wants to pose for fashion industry, … but have you ever noticed how strong a woman’s persona becomes head on.  I think because I am trying to depict the strength of women and their force, I actually find the head on challenging expression dynamic straight in the eye by the portrait.   Eye to eye, face to face.  Why should this be only a man’s purview… sorry Charlie.
3. arms away the body… I agree with this one if possible to do something which is not awkward or ridiculous, obviously in the water environment there is little control over some of your movements so a certain amount of happy circumstance has to happen, but it allows for the subject to express herself in new ways.
4. strong catch lights in the eyes… the eyes are where most of the life is, lighting up the eyes  definitely gives the advantage of the artist because you can emphasize and de-emphasize whatever you want through deliberate choices.
5. bounce light up onto the face…again he is talking strictly about the studio or posed photography but using the water subject this has always been a particularly natural emphasis for me… Bouncing color and light, pattern and design and creation of beautiful subject using this combination. The portrait is no different.

Now back to the easel to finish my newest piece with direct gaze, strong sculptural lighting facing away from the light… rules are meant to be broken and to each his/her own.

 

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Contemporary Realism – Book of Water Part III – Underwater Portrait Paintings

Originally posted on Chapin's Fine Art:

Contemporary Realism – Book of Water Part III – Underwater Portraits Discovering Magic

What happened next in my ongoing discovery of the underwater portrait subject matter was truly magic.   While we were experimenting with different angles to the light we happened on a wonderful discovery.   Can you guess what it is?  It is very subtle in this painting.

Discovering something which aids creativity is a wonderful part of art, it is like you see a glimmer into another world and suddenly a mystery unravels and you know you are onto something. While how it came about is part of my trade secret the results were spectacular. Ethereal is the word. It truly transported the ordinary poses we were doing into that mystical hovering place of time and space. I have been there before those moments of painting when you seem to lose yourself in the painting and time…

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