Saturday, 13 December 2014

Nana's Portrait

When I asked my client what her Mother's name was, she looked surprised. She replied: "Her name is Phyllis but everyone calls her Nana."

Nana - oil on linen 16" x 20" © 2014 Carol Lee Beckx

This portrait was done from a tiny iPhone photo - she didn't want any other photos taken of her and when you are 91 then no-one argues with you - and in any case the portrait was to be a surprise.

However I was able to borrow the hat - Nana's Melbourne Cup hat. If you're Australian you will know about the race that stops a nation. Everyone, everywhere, frocks up and goes off to lunch. A hat or fascinator is obligatory.

Painting a portrait from a photograph can be really tricky but somehow the spirit of this remarkable lady came through and the painting evolved without too much of a struggle. The natural colour of the linen support avoided the usual "background" problems. It seemed logical to leave a lot of the linen unpainted so that the emphasis is on the portrait.

When I get to the finishing off stage of a painting I like to hang it in my living room for a while to assess what still needs to be done. Nana's portrait has been keeping me company for the last week - I'll miss her.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Deja` Bru Cafe` has a new Alfresco area.

My local café has some exciting changes. There is a new roof over part of the café.
This creates a lovely cool alfresco dining area. There is shade and coolness during these steamy days. Then, when we are lucky enough to have some rain, no-one has to scramble for cover.

In keeping with the décor of the Café, a coat of bright red paint enhances sections of the walls of this new area. I have done three paintings of Paris, The Arc De Triomph, The Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame de Paris. 
I made good use of Google Earth street view. It's the next best thing to being there in real life.This photo shows the three paintings all together.

These paintings have the same colour palette as the large interior mural and keep to the Parisienne theme of Deja` Bru Cafe`. There’s a difference though, these three paintings are for sale.
If you are interested in purchasing any of these paintings please contact me or the Cafe` staff.

Arc De Triomphe - Acrylic on canvas 600mm x 600mm © 2014 Carol Lee Beckx

Eiffel Tower Paris - Acrylic on canvas 600mm x 600mm © 2014 Carol Lee Beckx

Notre Dame de Paris - Acrylic on canvas 600mm x 600mm © 2014 Carol Lee Beckx

And here's a reminder of the interior painting...

Deja` Bru Cafe` acrylic on canvas 1200mm x 3600mm

Deja` Bru Cafe` McDowall Village corner Hamilton and Beckett Roads, McDowall.
Phone: 0438 794 398

Sunday, 7 December 2014

A workshop with a difference - a Hen's Painting Party

The best thing about teaching art is that you get the opportunity to introduce people to abilities they don’t think they have. Usually the classes and workshops in my studio are attended by people who have done some drawing and painting, even though it might had been years since they picked up a brush. More often they will be regular students at the studio. 

Yesterday afternoon my studio was filled with enthusiastic novices. It was a Hen's party with a difference. (And in case you’re wondering there was no life model in attendance.)

 I had some ideas prepared for my guests - photographic reference and some templates; small canvases and plenty of acrylic paint in rainbow colours.

After a glass of bubbly to start, I gave a brief explanation and the ladies started creating their paintings. 

Once the paintings had progressed somewhat it was time to let the paint dry and take a break for snacks and delicious cake. 

Three hours later and all the guests went home with a completed painting. I think they surprised themselves. I love introducing people to the fun of painting - I had the most enjoyable afternoon.

And  to Tania - a most capable assistant - a special thank you.