Friday, February 25, 2011

Building an arc.

Oh MAN, I can't believe I forgot the painting below when I wrote this post, trying to compile a list of my longtime favorite paintings... I absolutely adore this painting, and could linger in front of it for hours. Lucky for me, it's only 100 miles away from my adoring eyes, at the Met up in NYC:

Joan of Arc, oil on canvas, 1879, 100" x 110", by Jules Bastien-Lepage 

Mmmmm. I love those naturalist painters, yessir I do.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fairey ironic?

Ok, this one is a case which has me very, very torn, not unlike the issue of the moving of the Barnes Foundation from Merion, PA into Philadelphia... anyway, here's the deal: last year street artist Shepard Fairey created a mural on the side of Rocket Cat Cafe, a couple of blocks away from our home in Fishtown. Recently, however, I noticed that another street artist tagged the mural... and now someone is working painstakingly to remove the tag (see the article at this link). Now, to me, it seems kind of ironic and only natural, in a way, that one work of street art (or, as it is sometimes known, "graffiti") would be covered up by another... the fact that someone is taking the trouble to remove the newer tag, in my mind, raises all sorts of interesting questions about the value we place on particular instances of "street art," or any art, really, over any other piece of art - why is Shepard Fairey's art deemed conservation-worthy and the other "artist's" work not? Is it because he's famous? Because someone paid money to have the mural painted? Because it's "better" art than the tag which followed? Why is the tag not simply allowed to be a part of the work, a "street work" in progress? If we were to apply the same judgment to Fairey's work as to the subsequent tagger, would Fairey's work ever be as valued as it is? Because long before he did the Obama "Hope" poster and all that, Fairey was just another tagger himself, in a sense, putting his art up on property which didn't belong to him? Anyway, I don't have all the answers, but I'd be curious as to what others think of this whole issue. It frankly has me stumped, and somewhat amused...

Me, in front of the Shepard Fairey mural outside Rocket Cat, months before the tagging
(photo taken by the lovely and amazing Alison Overton

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

PSC encore.

Went to a presentation last night at the Philadelphia Sketch Club by painter Paul DuSold. He gave a preview of his new DVD on portrait painting, produced with the help of fellow painter David Shevlino, whose own DVD I discussed in this post. In his portrait-painting approach, he prefers a limited palette, works on the painting from light to dark after laying in the initial tonal range (which I found interesting, I always work in the opposite direction), and emphasizes the two main painting issues as that of tone and temperature - which seems a simple breakdown until you try painting! You can see a demo/talk he gave on Sargent's method of portrait painting at this link.

Arthur DeCosta, oil on canvas, 46"x36", by Paul DuSold

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NYC art lessons!

Hey - for anyone who is looking for a really good, private art instructor in NYC, you should try Reiner Hansen, a fellow artist who has just relocated from the San Francisco Bay Area:

Here's an example of instructor Reiner Hansen's work:

The Seed, oil on panel, 2003, 8" x 10", by Reiner Hansen

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love and death, and painting.

For some reason, I was thinking recently about the paintings that I’ve looooved for years, the paintings that grabbed my attention as a youth and really stuck with me – sometimes to the point of making a special pilgrimage to see them in person. The leading ones are the three below… and I only just realized, upon collecting these images, what a seriously gruesome group of paintings this makes. Am I really that morbid? Yikes.

David Holding the Head of Goliath, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, oil on canvas, 1610, 49”x40” (at the Galleria Borghese)

La Mort de Marat (The Death of Marat), Jacques-Louis David, oil on canvas, 1793, 64”x50” (at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels)

Ophelia, John Everett Millais, oil on canvas, 1851-1852, oil on canvas, 30”x44” (at the Tate Britain in London)

For those who are keeping track, that's a body count of three (although I guess there's no actual Goliath body in the Caravaggio one, is there? So maybe that one doesn't count...?).

Boy, I was a weird kid.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Okay, Internets. Are you ready? I have to share with you something that blew my mind the other day when I saw it at this link:

Richard (detail), oil on canvas, 28"x26", work in-progress (as of 2/1/11) by artist Jacob Collins 

For real, it blew my mind. Jacob Collins has serious painting chops. If you have any interest in studying with this guy, get your butt down to the Grand Central Academy of Art, post-haste. 

Sigh. Back to the easel.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


When I was showing some of these paintings in Paris back in 2005, a French man came through the show, came up to me, and said "Narcissiste!" It was a comment on the fact that all of the paintings were paintings of myself (well, yes! I'm a cheap and readily available model), which apparently was the leading symptom in the diagnosis. So, now that we've established that I'm a raging narcissist, let's talk some more about me, shall we? More specifically, a recent acquisition of a painting of me by another artist - woot!

Maine artist David Graeme Baker was in the city this weekend for a show at Artists' House Gallery here in Philadelphia. I am super-pleased to share with you a painting of me by David from waaaaay back 15 years ago, done in 1996 and featuring some vintage Diane:

Diane Rollins, oil on panel, 1996 by David Graeme Baker

Yay! It was good to see it again. And by the way, if you haven't checked out David's work at Artists' House Gallery,you should do so this month! You can also find his stuff in NYC at Gallery Henoch, or in Maine at Courthouse Gallery.

But wait, there's more! I'm not done gushing about other artists' paintings of meeeeee... Philadelphia artist Alexandra Tyng recently completed this painting, which I absolutely luuuuuurve:

Vision to Hand, oil on canvas, 36"x26", by Alexandra Tyng

This painting was done in the wake of the Women Painting Women expedition to Charleston, SC last November... which is where this sketch of me was done by Arizona artist Linda Tracey Brandon:

Sketch of me by Linda Tracey Brandon

And I know I've posted these before, but let's revisit these other works of me by awesome friends/artists:

Diane with Kitten, oil on panel, 20" x 16", by Alia El-Bermani

And this:
Pastel painting by Philadelphia artist Scott Noel

I know I'm being silly about the whole narcissism thing... maybe. But really, I'm super-honored to have sat for all of the above excellent artists, and find it really fun to see the various interpretations of my Self by other artists. Cooool.

And, since it's all about ME, I'll throw in a recent sketch of ME by ME :
sketch: leaving California, 2011, oil on linen, 10"x8", by ME.

Haha. Enough about me. So, do you want to paint me? Let's talk about that.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Charleston revisited.

Hey, I keep forgetting to post a video which was created by Charleston Today back when we were on the Women Painting Women expedition in Charleston last November... whoever shot the video of painters painting in the Charleston Fine Art Dealers Association's Painting in the Park event that chilly Saturday caught a couple of us Women Painting Women painters, including myself, Shannon Runquist, and Katherine Stone. They captured me at different stages of creating this painting, take a look at the following link:

Charleston Art Today video