Thorns on Paper

A Little Light Reading 7-18-2014 lo-res light

Thorns on Paper

12″x12″ (30 x 30 cm) – oil on gessobord – commission

Thorns on Paper is a second commission for Mostly Glass gallery and another painting for the Crinkled Paper show planned for this year end.

I’ve been working on this painting since April, it took nearly three months, longer than I hoped. I am happy to finish and sign it. And it did not help the matter that towards the end a scratch  appeared on a finished background. Could have been Elvis’ work, or I might have gotten careless for a moment – hard to tell. I could not repair it and had to repaint the background.

About the title: Everyone who talked about this painting so far calls it “Caravaggio”, which seems to be an intuitive thing to do given the book title painted in the front. Natural that it may be I find it a bit presumptuous. I titled the painting Thorns on Paper to reflect on the painting on the book cover Crowning with Thorns.

Chicago Sketch Seminar 2014 – retrospect

 

A month ago, on June 7-8, we Urban Sketchers Chicago had our first ever Chicago Sketch Seminar 2014. After a year of planning (and fretting!) it was finally here and turned out a success. I managed the planning process for this event and was privileged to lead the finest team of planners one can wish for.

Dozens of sketchers from Chicago, from around the country (Cincinnati, Portland OR, San Francisco, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, etc), even from Canada came to Chicago and sketched together. They took 8 sketching workshops, I taught a workshop on color. They participated in a number of sketching activities that showed off our beautiful and oh-so-sketchable city. They had one Dinner, Drink and Draw event and it was good!

The Seminar came and went in a flash and left some wonderful memories and lots of new friends. My friend Kordt Larsen produced a short documentary film on the Chicago Sketch Seminar 2014 – shown in the beginning of this post. (Here’s a link to it – https://vimeo.com/100442711)

For more photos and details see USk Chicago Sketch Seminar blog where our Correspondent Andrew Banks published 3 part article on the event:

USk Chicago Sketch Seminar – Part 1

USk Chicago Sketch Seminar – Part 2

USk Chicago Sketch Seminar – Part 3

The White Wave – all finished, framed and gone

White Wave packed 5-30-14

This is my final parting shot of The White Wave painting. I am packing it to go to Mostly Glass gallery.

The White Wave

The White Wave 5-3-2014 10x7 lo-res

The White Wave

9″x12″ (23 x 30 cm) – oil on gessobord – commission

Here’s a new painting titled The White Wave. A couple of years ago, when I first painted crinkled paper, the complexity, the chaos and the lack of logic or reason of it has got to be too much, and I promised myself that I would not paint crinkled paper again unless I would be paid for doing it. HA! I broke my promise in less than 3 months, just to see if the first painting was not a fluke and if I can really paint wrinkled paper. I could :).

The real thing happened in the beginning of this year. A gallery that I worked with some years ago suggested a solo show later this year, the theme being crinkled paper. I am working on a new collection of works for this show. The first two pieces of this collection the gallery has commissioned – that’s the right way to support art! The White Wave is the first piece of this new series.

As far as good news go, this is pretty much up there!

Memory Blocks: E is for Empathy

E is for Empathy 3-10-2014 lo-res

E is for Empathy

12″x9″ (30 x 23 cm) – oil on gessobord – NFS

This is the latest installation of Memory Blocks series, it is titled E is for Empathy.

This painting is created for the front cover of my husband’s new book The Rumor of Empathy accepted for publication by Routledge Taylor and Francis group. This is the reason the painting is “Not For Sale”, I want to keep all the rights for now.

Update on March 30th: Lou heard from the publisher – E is for Empathy image is accepted for the front cover! Happy news :)!

Eggshells

Eggshells 6x6 11-3-13 lo-res

Eggshells

6″ x 6″ (15 x 15 cm) – oil on gessobord – SOLD

The last one! Number 6 of 6!

I had several subjects for this painting, some were planned for a long time. But that one evening, right before I was to start a new board, Lou decided to make an omelette and as we know – you cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs :). He threw the eggshells into the sink. When I picked them up to toss them into trash I marveled at how perfect they were. Out of the window went my planned compositions, I couldn’t sleep that night waiting for that morning light to hit my precious eggshells.

Now that this one is finished I am taking a much deserved break. The house got overtaken by entropy while I painted, I abandoned my sketches, a portrait promised to a friend is still in pencil… I am going to be busy doing all that :).

And then I am planning something new :)! Stay tuned!

Plus Two Dollars

Plus Two Dollars 10-18-2013 lo-res

Plus Two Dollars

6″ x 6″ (15 x 15 cm) – oil on gessobord – SOLD

The second painting for the second show I am painting for. This one in California.

But let me tell you a story. I have this church down the block,  I am sure many of you have heard of it by now. Every year they have a rummage sale, and every year I go to hunt for props, and every time I hunt I score. A winning proposition :).

This year I went again and found a basket-full of mismachted bone china, bent silver spoons, a large shell with an ocean sound inside, and a set of 16 prints by Toulouse-Lautrec. Every object was a dollar or two. The fun started at earnest when I went to pay for my loot. The nice elderly gentleman was a singularly wrong person to manage the cash box! He decided to do the sums in his head and kept making mistakes in my favor. By the time he had 9, I had 11  and corrected him… by the time he had 14, I had 16 and corrected him again. All the while he wanted to talk about Lautrec, American realism, painting in general, and modeling for life sessions. In the end he got 18. I no longer believed him and gave him 20 – God bless!! :)

Here I have for you the three cups from the rummage sale… Plus the two dollars difference in our sums.

With Cherries on Top

With Cherries on Top 10-3-2013 lores

With Cherries on Top

6″ x 6″ (15 x 15 cm) – oil on gessobord – SOLD

This was supposed to be the last of the three paintings for the Buck County gallery show. After this one the plan was to relax, go sketching, catch up with planning the USk Chicago Seminar, maybe do laundry… But while I painted it I heard from Randy Higbee about his spectacular 6″ Squared Show in December. I managed to miss it last year and promised myself to make sure to be in it this year. And so I need two more paintings to make it into two different shows. Pressure! Stress! Deadlines! I thought I left that kind of stuff behind when I left the corporate rat race – LOL!

I am rather pleased with this painting. The idea occurred to me in early summer, when Rainer cherries were in season. I composed my setup, but wasn’t sure of it. So I sketched it first and showed the sketch to my Sketckpack buddies. They liked it. With that I felt better and painted it :).

Aug-11 web

Every day in August – the last sketches

So many things were happening in the last weeks that I nearly forgot I had a few more sketches from Every Day in August project! These are from around my neighborhood – Edgewater.

The little red tractor-beachcomber is busy combing our beach every morning along with two others – one blue and one green. It makes a nice summery buzz-buzz-clankedy-clunk noise to wake up to.

Our beach looks just like Miami with these ultramarine umbrellas. We call this area Michigan Riviera in summer. You don’t want to know what I call it in winter.

In Chicago we only get two seasons – Winter and Construction. It is Construction now, I had a choice of three different backhoes within 2 blocks of my building.

And then the project came to an end. Here’s the whole concertina pack – 31 sketches – just before it got into the mail to go to Cape Town. I already heard from South Africa that it arrived (whew!) and is being installed in the exhibition.

Everyday in August 2013 - finished

The earlier sketches can be seen under these links:

- Every Day in August

- Every Day in August – more sketches

alexandrazonis.com

Every day in August – 4th installment

The Trumpeter

The Trumpeter 9-19-13 lo-res

The Trumpeter

6″ x 6″ (15 x 15 cm) – oil on gessobord

The second painting for Buck County  6 x 6 show later this fall. Two down – one more to paint. I had fun with new textures I had to play with – leather, suede and velvet.

Being curious I Googled John McCormack and The Trumpeter and to my delight found a recording – from a vinyl – of John McCormack singing The Trumpeter in 1915 – 98 years ago. It is so good – it gives me goosebumps!

John McCormack sings The Trumpeter in 1915