Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dressed to Kill

“Dressed to Kill”         Oil          10” x 10”          $125         © Sharon Lewis
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            This was a fun subject to paint and really got me thinking about both the fun and the pain associated with women’s fashion. I love the different colors and textures you find in women’s clothes and shoes and how we don’t have to wear essentially the same thing every day. I love novelty! However, I was wondering how we ever developed a trend that encouraged women to hobble in pain in incredibly high-heeled shoes just to be fashionable.
            A brief review online of the origins of high heels reminded me that they were previously worn by both men and women and were often associated with status. What I didn’t know was that they were also used by men in Persia (now Iran) to secure their feet to their stirrups so that they could ride and shoot arrows from their horses. Then apparently, the heels caught on with aristocrats such as King Louis XIV. He used them to increase his short stature (5’4”), and restricted the wearing of red heels (his favorite) only to those in his court. Over time, men’s shoes became more practical and women’s shoes went in the opposite direction. Maybe it’s time to give them back to men?
            Have a happy and comfortable weekend!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Beauty in Diversity

“Beauty in Diversity”         Pastel           10” x 10”             $125     © Sharon Lewis
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One of the many reasons I love tulips is their diversity. They change shape as the flower ages (kind of like us) and they come in a variety of beautiful and different colors (also like us). In addition, they remind us of the joys of spring bringing new life, new beginnings, and gorgeous, cheerful colors like these.
The graceful arrangement of these tulips is entirely due to the artistic skill of the very talented artist, Karen Appleton. She challenged us recently in our oils class, to paint these particular flowers using palette knives instead of brushes. The painting here was done with pastels but I will share the oil painting of these flowers with you sometime soon. All I will say now is that for me, it was really, really challenging to paint with palette knives but also a lot of fun. 
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

By the Stream

“By the Stream”      Pastel        11” x 14”        $150     ©Sharon Lewis

            I’ve borrowed the title for this painting from the poem, “By the Stream” by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, one of the first African-American poets to gain national recognition. The first few lines are: “By the stream I dream in calm delight, and watch as in a glass, How the clouds like crowds of snowy-hued and white-robed maidens pass, And the water into ripples breaks and sparkles as it spreads…” (Click here for the rest of the poem.). This seems to be such a wonderful way of describing this beautiful scene I saw one summer though maybe the clouds are more “golden-hued” and “lavender” robed maidens.
            Hoping a little beauty comes your way.  Happy Weekend!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Beach Study

Beach Study #3          Oil              5” x 7”            $50  © Sharon Lewis

            I was lucky enough to visit the beach last weekend and took advantage of the opportunity to paint the ocean and sky from life. It was a windy day when I tried to paint an impression of sweeping clouds and choppy waves. Waves of course are hard to paint exactly from life but I find if I keep studying them, I can notice enough to convey at least an impression of them.
            Happy Weekend!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Left Out

“Left Out”                  Oil                10” x 10”                   $125         © Sharon Lewis 
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I’ve been continuing to have fun painting with oils and have a wonderful teacher: the very talented artist, Karen Appleton. I’ve been attracted to oils for some time though still love working with the pastel medium. I signed up for a beginning oils class with Karen and we have had so much fun! It was a bit frustrating at the beginning because I’m used to working with sticks of pigment rather than brushes and just selecting the color I want from my hundreds of pastels rather than mixing colors. Progress has been slow but I love it! I’m not only lucky to have found a gifted, generous teacher but also a group of people who love art, can laugh a lot, and are supportive of one another.
            Happy Weekend!