Friday, October 13, 2006

Figuratively Speaking

Since painting is on the mind today, I thought could share more of what I've done in the past. And also share how when I'm painting I still have handiwork, fabric, texture, printwork on the mind. I'm convinced that these tactile things are alot of what connects us to this world and each other. The act of making, giving, and using an item is simply beautiful.

When my friend Janna Eaton Smith asked me to do a portrait of her and her new daughter Adeline, she also asked my advice on how to dress herself and the baby. Not thinking too much about it, because those elements get changed alot in my paintings anyway, I just told her "anything you feel comfortable in". She showed up to the studio for the photo shoot with Adeline dressed in this beautiful sweater, handknit by her grandmother. Thats how she felt comfortable.

That little sweater became very important to me as the painting developed. I completely let it dictate the palette as I wanted all the rest of the painting to compliment it. Even the shapes and loose patternwork in the background were inspired by the cluster style knitting on the sweater. (If I knew the name of that style I would mention it...not a knitter...yet.) I remember contemplating how I wanted that feeling of physical and emotional warmth to be conveyed and was so pleased to have been given the inspiration.

Now back to today's painting.....actually spring imagery for product know me always in the wrong season.



  1. Anonymous11:58 AM


    I really enjoy your blog site. The photos, the drawings, your writing style. In a word: refreshing.

    Kudos to Heather for pointing us in your direction.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery on the pencil-in-the-toe incident. Ouch!

    And...I'm adding your site to my favorite places list on my blog site. Feel free to drop by sometime.

  2. Anonymous12:20 PM

    Your portrait is wonderful,great job! I have yet to master the human figure, flowers to me are much more forgiving so that's what I stick I understand what you mean though about how one element can dictate the feel and look of the rest of your composition. Thank you for sharing.

  3. As a former product designer for a publishing company, it became a running joke in our family as to what "season we were in" at work. We usually worked about 9 months in advance which seemed so incredibly far away. And our poor artists, who had to work even further in advance!
    I really enjoyed your "Christmas in October" post that you linked to. I love learning about each individual person's creative process. It has always helped enrich my own creativity to be able to learn from others.

  4. As a knitter, I can tell you that it seems from your description and the painting (although the details are too loose to be certain) that the baby's sweater was an aran-style sweater, most probably with lots of either bobbles, which look rather like popcorn, or seed stitch, which looks kind of nubbly/textural.

    Either way, the portrait is gorgeous.

  5. AHA! I knew some smart knitter person would tell me. The clusters were almost shell shaped, but made up of seedy/bumpy stitch-yes! It was a beautiful sweater!!
    Thanks all for the nice words, xo,AM

  6. Amazing painting - takes my breath away!

  7. wow girl,
    you are so talented.
    where do you live? maybe you could paint our kids.;0) or do you only do it for friends?

  8. Beautiful work, all of it. I might just have to get my sewing machine and/or camera out today. :-) Inspired.

    Oh, and the pencil incident; I couldn't have done it more spectacularly! From someone who does that kind of thing alll the time.


  9. Hi Danni-I'm in nashville-its rare I have the chance to do commissions these days, I am so busy just keeping up! But you never know!
    Thanks for asking, xo,AM

  10. June Vaughn7:14 PM

    Sweet Adeline's sweater is crocheted in a baby shell pattern. I am Janna's mother, and my mother, Glady Curtis, made it.
    We all love the portrait and think you captured them perfectly. Thank you for sharing the portrait. June

  11. Hi June-thanks so much for putting a comment here and for background on the sweater and its creator! I know that these girls come from a long line of beautiful women, the portrait was such a pleasure to do.
    Take Care, Anna Maria