I finished the Winter Dirndl painting yesterday. At least I think it's finished ... well, it has to be. It looks more like my mother than any of the previous attempts to get the facial features right. I'm not sure I can get it any "better", so rather than risk messing it up, I'm calling it done. Now I just need to find a frame and get it ready to hang (the frame in the photo is courtesy of picmonkey.)
The Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID) has an annual "Women" art exhibit which runs in conjunction with the observance of March as Women's History Month. Each year the National Women's History Project selects a theme for participating organizations to focus on during the month. This year's theme is “Weaving The Stories of Women’s Lives." CAID has introduced a sub-theme to their exhibit this year: “Our Mentor.”
The CAID organization has been around since 1979. I've lived in the Detroit area and in SE Michigan most of my life and never knew about this place. Thanks to the wonders of the internet and social media, I do now.
I submitted the Winter Dirndl painting for inclusion in this year's exhibit and it was accepted. I also included some background information about the piece and my mom's history along (see below) l which I hope can be displayed beside the painting.
CAID "Women” Exhibition details
Dates: March 6th - March 29th
Pre-show Discussion & Panel “Women in Art”: March 6th 6-7pm
Opening Reception: March 6th 7-10pm
Curated by Myett Risker
I'm quite excited to be a part of this!
When my mom moved from her house into an apartment about 5 years ago, her photo albums pretty much fell apart. We spent quite a bit of time sorting through old family photos, which included my grandma's and dad's pictures as well - scanning them, writing down some of the names of people in the photos and the stories behind them, before they are forgotten.
One of her favorites is a photo of her at around age 20 wearing a dirndl (traditional German dress) she made out of winter-weight fabric. I always liked that one too.
I wondered if I could create a decent painting from that photo. So of course I had to try. As you can see, the photo is sepia-toned. I didn't want to stick to just those tones for the painting, and didn't want to go full color either ... so I tried for a middle ground, and like the way it's turning out - sort of a lightly colorized vintage look.
Then I started getting ideas about other paintings I could do from our old photos. I have a whole series planned out already (if only I could paint as fast as I can conjure up ideas!) I almost wish I had thought of that before, and chosen a different photo to start with, because finishing this one is turning out to be tougher than I expected.
Doing justice to my mother's beautiful 20-year-old face is not easy. I have reworked the details of the face three times now and am still not satisfied with it. This is much harder than painting a stranger. Especially since she will see it when it's done, and I want her to see herself in it and like how I portrayed her.
So along comes this call for entries for an annual exhibit on women at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit. Right before the deadline I decided to enter this 98% finished portrait. It has been accepted for the exhibit. Now I MUST finish it.
The painting needs to be dropped off at the gallery February 28th.
Thank goodness I tend to work well with deadlines.
This website was launched about a month ago in its beginning stage and so far I've only told a handful of people about it. Time to prod it along, add more information, and slowly get it out there to the masses.
I should probably begin by getting this News page up & running so I can tell about all the arty things that are happening in my world.
Such as: the upcoming "Women" annual exhibit at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit; the 5th anniversary celebration and exhibit of Julia Kay's Portrait Party in San Francisco; the Art on Nepessing festival in Lapeer MI; and my first solo exhibit at Cranberries Cafe in Goodrich MI this September. And who know what else may pop up?
(I'm not sure why I doubted I'd have enough to write about to justify adding a news page.)
And I suppose I need a properly formatted curriculum vitae. I found some great resources online on how to create one ... and I will get to it eventually ... for now though, this simple list will have to suffice.