Saturday, June 1, 2013

Back to Painting...a new start

     Friday before last, Joe and I drove into the MFA to see the colorful quilted 6" x 8" flags sent in from six continents to celebrate Boston. Ahead of me, I had the quilt challenge of "CELL" by my Material Maven international art quilt group. Synergistically, Joe and I had just returned from a stop at the Neue Gallerie in NYC where we viewed "Adele Bloch-Bauer" which is always on permanent display. I happened on a movie of Klimt's life via Netflix and found an unread book in my library titled The Kiss about a Klimt painting. As it turns out, Klimt viewed a lot of cells under microscope which appeared in many paintings. The power of Klimt's paintings inspired me to pick up the brush again.

       Just at the hero and heroine in a romance novel are at odds before they fall in love, I had never liked Klimt's paintings as much as my other favorite painters. Absorbed in his work, I became semi-obsessed.

       At Costco, I saw a painting kit, a little more challenging than paint by numbers, and I painted Klimt's "Tree of Life" to get a feel for his cells or signets (an excuse to be a child again). I found some ideas for getting the grands to create their own trees at YouTube. Back into painting, I set up two portable easels to oil paint (alkyds) the grandchildren from photos. I prefer painting from life, but distance is a problem. Whereas I once painted 9 am to 9 pm, after two hours, I had had enough. The next day I realized I needed my BIG easel so I could brace my arm and Joe got me a tall stool. Painting became fun again.  I am looking forward to painting less traditional portraits inspired by Klimt, my teachers at the SMFA Boston and art that I rediscovered my old, but bigger, easel.

       Here are the first day and the second day...MORE TO GO on both. Hannah begins to look like herself, I think; but Erika's is a major miss. But I won't give up! Try, try again, now that I am comfortable. I will save those portable easels for painting landscapes in the open aire, also inspired by Klimt and art history. Click photos to enlarge.


  1. Thank heavens for Klimt, SMFA teachers, art history and the big easel! YOU MUST KEEP THIS UP BECAUSE YOU ARE SO WONDERFUL AT IT! WHAT A GIFT! I love these portraits - everything about them! ss

  2. Wonderful! Wonderful! I'm glad to see you back at the easel--keep us up to date as the pictures emerge!

  3. Hi Linda,
    I love your paintings.

  4. Very interesting about Klimt's your Cell quilt is going to be fabulous! ( Mine will be quite ordinary/predictable I think! )
    LOVE the paintings of your grand daughters! Erika is adorable with lots of energy, can't see why you think that she is such a miss? I can almost hear Hannah playing. Missed you today at QC show!

    1. I worked a little more on Erika and reposted saw the later addition...with chalk on the blacktop :*) I can't thank you enough for the QC show reminder.

  5. What a treat to look at these!

  6. I raved on and on via email about how much I love these portraits of your granddaughters. But I will repeat here; I think they are beyond wonderful verging on extraordinary! As I said in the email, if I could paint this well, I would not want to do anything but paint all day long!!!!

  7. Hi Linda.
    We were in Houston, but now home again. Just saw your email. I agree 100% with Alice—love it when you take up the brush!

    Years ago we visited the Belvedere in Vienna and enjoyed Klimt—my introduction to him & a fan ever since. I imagine you have been there too.
    The Neue Galerie in NYC is a great contribution to art in the City.( I have not been.) The background of the Adele Block-Bauer at the N.G. Is so interesting (Nazi theft). But you probably know that too. After N.G. Got the painting, I read that the Belvedere placed an empty frame on display in mourning! I don’t know if that is still on display or not.

    Paint on, old friend!

  8. I love Klimt. I think we saw him at the Neue when we were in NYC - together. I am looking forward to your cell quilt. The portraits of your grands are wonderful. I am so glad you're painting again and sharing it with us.

  9. Love following your steps along the way as you decided to pursue the Klimt inspiration for your paintings of the grands. I look forward to seeing the end products. What you've done thus far is wonderful!

  10. Just back from out West. Great paintings; I guess you haven't lost your touch!