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Anite’s Story

Anite’s Story

Posted by on Feb 25, 2014 |

Haitian Mother

Anite

Anite is a Haitian woman who works at 2nd Story Goods, a non-profit cottage industry started by my friend Kathy Brooks. She tells Anite’s story below:

 

We stand outside Anite’s tiny thatch home, the one she moved into this past June with her four children. I reach down to fix the collar on the dress of the little girl standing there with Anite’s daughters. Anite tells me that the little girl’s family lived next door until recently and were forced to leave. The momma left with her baby and left this daughter behind. Alone.

Anite is a young widow and might weigh 75 pounds soaking wet. I wonder how many days she has gone without food to keep her children fed… She is a woman of faith. She is a woman fiercely determined to keep her family together and raise her kids well.

Anite has taken this little girl in.

So, this young girl is maybe eight years old. She is so thin and small it is difficult to say. Anite has taken in another mouth to feed, another body to clothe, another child to hold when she cries.

She slays me.

She tells me that God will take care of them, that He promises to do that for those who care for those in need. So she does.

♥ ♥ ♥

I was so touched by Anite’s story that I felt prompted to paint her and offer the print as a means to give money to her family and others like her through the ministry of 2nd Story Goods.

If you wish, you can purchase a signed, limited edition Gicleé print (museum-quality paper using archival ink) for $48.00.

The print will come unmatted, rolled in a solid tube ready to place in a mat or frame.

I will send $35.00 from each sale to 2nd Story Goods for Anite and families like hers.

The remaining $13.00 will cover the cost of reproducing your limited edition print and shipping it to you!

You can place your order through all the various means on the sidebar next to the painting.

Thanks!

 ♥ ♥ ♥

I’ve tried to take some pictures as I’ve worked on this watercolor so you can see the progression.

 

laying in the painting

First step in laying in the painting

This is really not the first step but you’d never be able to see my “first step” pencil drawing as it is so light. So, this is the step after the drawing where you lay in shapes and try to establish some colors.

Next step

The next step is to lay in the background and continue to fill in the face.

Now I start laying in the background shapes and colors trying to balance the background against the foreground. In this painting, I don’t want the background to compete very much as Anite’s clearly the focus. I try to keep the colors somewhat muted.

 

And  here is the final piece!

Haitian Mother

Anite

 

 

♥ ♥ ♥

I can’t believe so much time has passed since my last blog! This has been a year of settling kids in college, or not college. I keep thinking I’ll have my own life, but perhaps that’s a myth…

Anyway, I’ve managed to squeak in painting, and I’ll try and catch you up. I’m going to try and keep this post updated (ha) so you can check in at your leisure, if you like. I’m presently working on a piece called “Waiting.” This was generated by a series of photos sent to me by a friend of three Mennonite women at the train station. I’m always intrigued by what people might be thinking, especially when waiting.

 

He Heals the Brokenhearted

He Heals the Brokenhearted

This painting, “He Heals the Brokenhearted,” was accepted for the 72nd National Exhibition of the Watercolor Society of Alabama, Spring, 2013.

 

The summer has been filled with illustrations, one a commission (below), the others have been submitted to a children’s book publisher (on the right panel).

 

Garden Whimsy

Garden Whimsy

The poppies are just for fun…

watercolor of poppies

Poppies

 

That’s it for now. As the kids are going off on their lives, I’m starting to get excited about regaining mine… !!

 

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MY MOST RECENT PAINTING ~ “ANITE”

MY MOST RECENT PAINTING   ~ “ANITE”

Posted by on Nov 5, 2013 | 0 comments

Anite is a Haitian woman whose story is told below by Kathy Brooks, who works with 2nd Story Goods, a Haitian cottage Industry.

We stand outside Anite’s tiny thatch home, the one she moved into this past June with her four children. I reach down to fix the collar on the dress of the little girl standing there with Anite’s daughters. Anite tells me that the little girl’s family has had many, many problems. They lived next door until recently and were forced to leave. The momma left with the baby and left this little girl behind. Alone.

 

Anite is a young widow, and might weigh 75 pounds soaking wet. I wonder how many days she has gone without food to keep her children fed… She is a woman of faith. She is a woman fiercely determined to keep her family together and raise her kids well
 
Anite has taken this little girl in. 
Haitian Mother

Anite

So, this young girl is maybe eight years old. She is so thin and small it is difficult to say. Anite has taken in another mouth to feed, another body to clothe, another child to hold when she cries. 

 

She slays me. 

 

She tells me that God will take care of them, that He promises to do that for those who care for those in need. So she does. 

I’ve been asking how God might use my talents for some purpose, and I was so touched by Anite’s story that I thought I might paint her and offer the prints as a means to give money to this family. You can purchase a print through Paypal on the sidebar, or by emailing me through my  contact page, and we can take a credit card over the phone.

laying in the painting

First step in laying in the painting

This is really not the first step but you’d never be able to see my “first step” pencil drawing as it is so light. So, this is the step after the drawing where you lay in shapes and try to establish some colors.
Next step

The next step is to lay in the background and continue to fill in the face.

Now I start laying in the background shapes and colors trying to balance the background against the foreground. In this painting, I don’t want the background to compete very much as Anite’s clearly the focus. I try to keep the colors somewhat muted.
I can’t believe so much time has passed since my last blog! This has been a year of settling kids in college, or not college. I keep thinking I’ll have my own life, but perhaps that’s a myth…
Anyway, I’ve managed to squeak in painting, and I’ll try and catch you up. I’ll start with “now” and you can scroll down and see what happened “then.” I’m going to try and keep this post updated (ha) so you can check in at your leisure, if you like. I’m presently working on a piece called “Waiting.” This was generated by a series of photos sent to me by a friend of three Mennonite women at the train station. I’m always intrigued by what people might be thinking, especially when waiting. If anyone should happen to read this, I’ll post the sequential pictures in the next few days.
The summer has been filled with illustrations, one a commission (below), the others have been submitted to a children’s book publisher (on the right panel).

 

Garden Whimsy
The poppies are just for fun…
watercolor of poppies

Poppies

 

This painting was accepted for the 72nd National Exhibition of the Watercolor Society of Alabama, Spring, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

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AUTUMN BLOG

AUTUMN BLOG

Posted by on Sep 18, 2012 | 1 comment

Thanks for peeking in here! Teaching is not my forte’,  but I hope you enjoy this attempt to show you a bit of the watercolor process.

To begin,  I placed this painting on a board at about a 45°  angle. I taped it down, and then started drawing. Below is a sketch of the two hens I drew on the paper. Normally, I draw with a very light pencil so the lines can’t be seen through the paint. Here I’ve darkened them (in Photoshop) so you can at least see them… the bottom of the drawing got so dark, I had to eliminate it…

Drawing of two chickens
First Sketch of Two Hens

Next,  I laid in the shapes, the lights and the darks. I decided to use black India ink in some areas as it’s more intense than watercolor and has it’s own interesting properties. I put ink on the tails and around the feet of the two hens.  Water dropped on the ink causes it to fan out and makes an interesting effect as on the dark hen’s tail tip.

Laying in the colors, lights and darksLaying in the Colors and shapes

I continued to layer the colors going from light to dark (with oil paint, you generally go from dark to light), testing the colors on the paper next to the painting, finding the color I need. You can see on the feathers of the orange hen the layers of color, especially on the closeup of the finished hen.

Next step Chickens – Third Step

Closeup of orange chickenCloseup of Orange Hen

The painting is almost finished except for defining the beaks, and laying in the sky and clouds. This is hard to show as it happens so fast (maybe I’ll do a video some time as the process is really fascinating, I think). First, I carefully wet the background around the hens down to the rails (saturate might be a better word). Next, I mixed a large amount of Cobalt Blue paint with a little Quinacridone  Coral.  Then I lay the paint across the paper, starting at the top.

Because of the angle of the board, the paint descended – fast! I kept laying in the original color as it descended down the page. As I got closer to the girls’ heads, I started dropping in a pink/coral color and some Quinacridone Gold. You literally do drop the colors in and they fan out and blend, creating a beautiful look which is unique to watercolor. It’s beautiful!

There are several techniques for creating clouds. The one I use most often is to take some paper towel (Viva) and lift the paint while the paper is still quite wet. You can also lift with a paint brush, or wait until the paint dries and lift with a small scrub brush. Watercolor paper is extremely durable, and you can scrub and lift. Even Magic Eraser ( like you use on your kitchen floors) works great!

Watercolor showing how to lay in the skyAdding the Sky

Here is the finished painting – sky, beaks and all.

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Spring News

Spring News

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012 | 0 comments

Spring is here (gorgeous!), and it’s time to tend to my long-overdue blog.

Oil painting of seated woman

Study of seated woman

I’ve been working on a number of pieces over the last months but I’m going to take you through this one that I’ve been painting over a number of weeks. I”m attempting a style of painting called “Tenebrist,” in which most of the figure is engulfed in shadow, but some parts are dramatically illuminated by a beam of light (in this case a spotlight fixed on the side of a black-encased box which is aimed on the model). Caravaggio, a Baroque artist, is generally credited with the invention of this style.

Start of glazing technique_oil painting

Study for Glazing

The first step in preparing the oil painting is laying down a background color, usually a dark reddish/brown, with an acrylic paint.

The next step is to lay out the drawing (this model is quite ample and a delight to draw), and lay in the lights. The oil paint is very much thinned down with linseed oil to create a thin glaze. I was fascinated with the way the light illuminated her skin, a bright red, winding it’s way up her leg, through her body and resting on her face. She has a wonderful head and chinline. I might add that she’s a terrific model as she never moves!

Second phase of glazing

Second phase of glazing

After the painting dried for several days, I next lay in a rose color as a glaze; namely a very thin layer of oil paint and linseed oil. The rose color, interestingly, over the dark brown becomes a dark blue. The remainder of the painting is done in layers of a thin glaze which, being transluscent, gives a feeling of depth to the figure. Vermeer is one of the masters who used this technique beautifully!

Third phase of glazing with oils

Third Step in Glazing

This was the third week of adding glaze. It’s a long process and I have to admit I didn’t always glaze but added full color in order to move along faster. Also, I decided I’d enter a local competition and felt uneasy with this model being unclothed. So, using a slip that I had, I improvised and added a slip to the model. I’m sure it’s not as good as it would be if I had the real thing to look at but I loved the subtle colors of blue/green complementing the rose of her skin.

Close-up of study

Close-up of face of model

Oil painting of seated woman

Study of seated woman

That’s it for now. I learned a lot from this study, and I hope you learned something from my description as well.

I just started a watercolor of a barn and a horse, which I’m painting for a fundraiser at my daughter’s school. It’s for Derby Day, thus the horse. Next blog I’ll try and do a sequence of that piece so you can see how watercolor works. It’s very different from oils. I really love both mediums; each has it’s own beauty.

Happy Spring!

Sarah

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