“It’s on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way.
So we must dig and delve unceasingly.” ~ Claude Monet
“Admiring ‘The Connoisseur'” by Rachelle, is still in progress.
Spending time observing and reflecting upon the masterpieces created throughout the centuries is something I greatly enjoy doing! One can learn so much from this almost forgotten pastime of intently looking at and studying the work of the masters before us. So the idea came to me a couple of years ago while visiting different art museums, why not paint miniatures of these masterpieces in some form. The first of such was done a couple of years ago titled “Learning From the Masters” and depicts an artist with his easel set up in front of Rubin’s beautiful “Daniel in the Lion’s Den”, painting on his own smaller version of the piece. I had great fun with it, sold it, and now am working on my next such miniature. The present one shows me standing and admiring Norman Rockwell’s painting “The Connoisseur”. I have greatly admired Rockwell’s paintings since I was a little girl and have spent hours pouring through books containing images of his emotion stirring paintings. What a highlight it was for me to visit Rockwell’s museum many years ago, and even though his studio didn’t open for a couple more days, I was perfectly content to peer into his studio widow, being afforded a glimpse into this amazing artist’s life! I also have always had a fascination with many abstract paintings and have always particularly been interested with Jackson Pollock’s paintings. So imagine my delight while visiting the American History Museum’s exhibition of Rockwell’s paintings in Washington, DC last October, I saw “The Connoisseur” hanging there! It was a perfect marriage of Rockwell’s mastery and Pollock’s imagination, and became the next perfect subject for one of my miniature paintings. Since no photography was allowed, Wes drew a quick sketch of me from behind to get the basic idea, size and scale for this miniature painting I wanted so badly to create. Thus the idea came to life this past week, as I started on “Admiring ‘The Connoisseur’”. It is the first of many in a series I call “Rachelle Visits the Masterpieces”. The next in line features a gorgeous Bierdstat painting.
My commission, “Sweet Sampson”, in its beginning stage.
“Sweet Sampson” is shown above with the first washes placed on, and is currently back on my easel while I start painting in some of the fur details and begin building the values in it. This is an extra fun miniature commission, since I was able to spend time with, and get to know, Sampson while we stayed with his owners last month.
With most of our time being spent painting, we’re still enjoying daily bike rides or walks, and I try to visit Cocoa several evening throughout the week, to feed him carrots and give him lots of lovin’s! He’s always happy to see me coming and gives me a big howdy, with soft flapping lips! Throughout the day, I’m also helping to feed Peedeepeeps wren babies. Unfortunately one has a hurt leg, so I take extra special care to make sure he has plenty of nut crunchies to eat! I’m anticipating the day that he’s all better! I also get to enjoy my hillbilly hot tub almost daily now, while continuing to read my wonderful book on Da Vinci and the “Mona Lisa”. The entertainment is quite spectacular as I lay there, watching the hummingbirds come and eat out of the feeder close by, and observe firsthand their amazing aerial ballets and battles! Even though I like seeing Bandit the raccoon visit, he was a naughty boy this past week and stole the peanut feeder, and it is nowhere to be found. Now we have to buy another one and figure how to beat his best next attempts at being a true bandit. Meanwhile, I feel like putting a sign out for the birds that reads, “Don’t blame us . . . blame Bandit!” We also spent a couple of evenings this past week playing games with friends, and I’m quite happy to announce that the girls beat the boys twice in Canasta, once with a triumphant victory! Okay . . . okay . . . yes, the boys won one game too.
“Mother’s Love” is one of our reproductions available for sale via our website.
Fresh off the easel: Wes finished his miniature painting of a lovely fleet of boats that he photographed at a marina in Guaymas, Mexico during our visit to the Sea of Cortez last spring. He also painted a miniature painting of a beautiful cascades quite close to where we live here in the Smokies. I finished my miniature painting of the racehorse, as well this past week.
Currently on the easel: Wes is painting on a beautiful and quite peaceful scene from the Amish community in nearby Etowah. I’m alternating between my commission of Sampson and my miniature “Admiring ‘The Connoisseur’”, and having great fun with both!
Try and stay cool!
Until next time ~ Rachelle 🙂