Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Before the March – Clarksville Suffragists

Before The March
11x14 inch acrylic painting on gallery wrapped canvas

This blog post is starting off an occasional series of paintings featuring my take on the local suffragist movement to pass the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. I want to highlight local women's contribution to that cause. In researching the suffragist movement, I found a lovely photo on the Clarksville Arts and Heritage website.....

Clarksvillian Constance Rudolph (first row, center) is only one identified, date unknown.
(photo courtesy of the Montgomery County Archives)

Seeing all the lovely young ladies in white, being shepherded by two women leaders in dark suits and bowler hats......I couldn't help but wonder what the scene might have looked like as they were gathering together before their march. I love imagining what might have happened before/after a photograph was taken.

So I began to design a composition.....

I settled on a sunlit bit of grass for the suffragists to gather together into their march formation. I really wanted to highlight the young ladies white dresses and straw hats or “boaters” against the contrast of the shadowed trees. I also wanted to add in, in the background, a few male onlookers scoffing at the gathering. The symbolism of the gentlemen in dark suits and hats, lurking in the shadows of the trees against the white of the sunlit young women's dresses was a compositional perk not to be wasted. I also liked the “messaging” of the two march leaders.....dressed in “serious” dark dresses and suit coats with the “take charge” bowler hats....usually only worn by men. I did want to note that there was in the photograph, a couple of men in the group....whether sweethearts, brothers, or “suffra-gents”. To add this note, I added one young gentleman talking to the standard bearer on the right.

Here I've gotten the composition firmed up and gotten the basic colours set in. I had added in some white marking a a design feature. I wanted to draw attention to the urban setting for the march and as visual “pointer” to an out of sight young lady rushing to join her friends in the group. In the finished version I put the young lady running towards the group in the main front view to connect the curb and the background hecklers. This is done on a deep gallery wrapped she is finished out “around the corner” so to speak.

I've had a blast painting this subject, and even more fun researching the stories about this movement. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

2018 US Bank Celebration of the Arts Open Art Exhibition


This is a bitty-bitty blog post just to let ya'll know about the 2018 US Bank Celebration of the Arts Open Art Exhibition, at the Kentucky Museum March 3-April 7- Monday thru Saturday 9-4 in Bowling Green Kentucky.

We got to visit the art show last week and took our annual photos of our artwork at the show. Frank and I both had two pieces of artwork in the show. We did have to search through over 400 other pieces of artwork displayed in five different parts of the Museum! I believe that that is a record number of entries for this keeps growing each year.

There were artwork pieces of every kind of description.....anything from a group of kids (of the young goat variety) escaping their leash to ceramic castles with fully furnished interiors! So many artists with such a variety of artistic visions.

Frank had his Teacher and Firebird displayed in two different rooms. I've linked to my blog posts for each sculpture. I had Garden Party and a new piece called Music Hall.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Frank and Alison at Downing Museum

Frank  with his sculpture Firebird

Alison with Garden Party

This is just a quick update post showing our artwork on display at the Downing Museum in the 25th Jack Lunt Memorial Juried Art Exhibition.  
It's a lovely art exhibit, in a beautiful gallery setting, with a wide variety of styles and artwork. We were delighted to be juried in the show.

You can read more about it at

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Garden Party - The Big Finish

Garden Party
Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas

From my last blog post,Garden Party-The Big Picture,  I continued painting with opaque slow drying paints, each bunch of figures. As I finished I checked my composition and found that I had indeed kept with the “rule of three” guiding lines for important points in the painting. But I also found triangles! 

I am really proud of the individual sets of characters in this painting. I tried to have the most detail in the man taking the photo, less in the posing couple.....even less in the family with two toddlers and group of talking folks in center stage. I wanted to highlight the little girl on the right, walking and texting, perfectly happy interacting with her phone. This piece ended up being a bit of commentary on how folks of different generations interact with each other. Going from the person to person chatting of the older folks thru the younger folks using their phone camera to post images to social media to the young girl in her own internet world.

Garden Party - Detail

Garden Party - Detail

Garden Party - Detail

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Firebird by Frank Lyne

Firebird by Frank Lyne


Accepted in the Downing Museum's 25th Jack Lunt Memorial Juried Art Exhibition

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Garden Party - The Big Picture

Garden Party
Acrylic paints on gallery wrapped canvas
measuring 30” by 40”
Accepted in the Downing Museum's 25th Jack Lunt Memorial Juried Art Exhibition

For this painting, Garden Party, I decided to go big! My usual painting sizes are anywhere from 10x10 inches up to 18x24 inches. But after seeing some realllllly big paintings at recent art shows.....I decided to try a big canvas this time. For the size and light weight I chose a stretched canvas, and being “gallery wrapped canvas” it doesn't need a frame.
I wanted to do multiple (mostly made up) figures, in bright sunlight, interacting with each other. For something this large, I paid attention to past work flows, and did my obligatory thumb nail sketches. I kept them in the same ratio of size as the large canvas. I did one for placement, another for value and a final one for colours.

That done I blew up the pencil sketches of my characters and made paper silhouettes that I used to paint a neutral brown outline of the figures, to find their placement on the large canvas. I then used the cut out portions as a masque for painting in large swaths of acrylic glazes for the dark shadowed background and the sunlit grass foreground.

Then using slow drying acrylics, I mixed up a value palette of a red, blue and yellow paint. I mixed up along side each colour it's complement and a mixture of each for a greyed version. I laid in the first main man taking the picture. I went on to pull up the masque on the posing couple and begin painting on them. 

Next time I'll finish off the tale of this Garden Party painting.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Garden Party: Discussions

Acrylic Paint on gallery wrapped canvas 10” x 10”

This painting is a start on a mini-series called Garden Party. I'm using a group of (mostly made up) folks at a summer garden party in bright sunlight, talking and meeting and greeting. I'm interested in stretching my skills at painting figures that actually show what they are doing with the least amount of detailing and the most impact from value and colours.

I sketched off the figures I wanted in this small painting, and made paper cutouts to transfer the outlines of where I wanted the figures placed. I then sponge rollered a couple of layers of acrylic glazes on the top shadowed portion of the background. This was an easy way to transfer the outlines of the figures onto the stretched canvas.

I then did the same kind of sponge roller brush technique on the grass. I wanted the grass to show up as in bright sunlight....but not be TOO green. Rolling over the silhouetted paper cutouts gave me all the visual hints needed to start on painting the figures.

I worked on the different figures using slow drying opaque acrylic paints. I really enjoyed these paints for their slower drying times, with all the ease of handling of acrylics. As I was finishing the painting I decided it needed something “more”. The gallery wrapped canvas is about 2 inches thick, providing a bitty space for a small visual surprise. So I tucked in, on the side, a small puppy intently listening in on the two gentlemen's discussion.