Wednesday, December 29, 2010

“Hearts and Daggers: A Rochester Love Story.” II

Doing some work on my second idea for Hearts and Daggers. Was thinking of Saints and Sinners as a theme for this one. So I remembered that Louise Brooks spent her final years here in Rochester and is buried just off Lake Ave in  Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

Well she was a real Saint and Sinner!

Brooks began her entertainment career as a dancer, joining the Denishawn modern dance company (whose members included founders Ruth St. Denis, and Ted Shawn, as well as a young Martha Graham) in 1922. In her second season with the company, Brooks had advanced to a starring role in one work opposite Shawn. A long-simmering personal conflict between Brooks and St. Denis boiled over one day, however, and St. Denis abruptly fired Brooks from the troupe in 1924, telling her in front of the other members that "I am dismissing you from the company because you want life handed to you on a silver salver".[The words left a strong impression on Brooks; when she drew up an outline for a planned autobiographical novel in 1949, "The Silver Salver" was the title she gave to the tenth and final chapter.

Brooks almost immediately found employment as a chorus girl in George White's Scandals, followed by an appearance as a featured dancer in the 1925 edition of the Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway.

She then went to Hollywood and started in a number of silent films. Later, Brooks, who loathed the Hollywood "scene", refused to stay on at Paramount after being denied a promised raise, and left for Europe to make films for G. W. Pabst, the prominent German Expressionist director.

Once in Germany, she starred in the 1929 film Pandora's Box, directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst in his New Objectivity period. The film is based on two plays by Frank Wedekind and Brooks plays the central figure, Lulu. This film is notorious for its frank treatment of modern sexual mores, including one of the first screen portrayals of a lesbian. Brooks then starred in the controversial social drama Diary of a Lost Girl (1929),and Prix de Beauté (1930), the latter being filmed in France, and having a famous surprise ending. All these films were heavily censored, as they were very "adult" and considered shocking in their time for their portrayals of sexuality, as well as their social satire.

She was rediscovered by James Card, the film curator for the George Eastman House, discovered Louise living as a recluse in New York City about this time, and persuaded her to move to Rochester, New York to be near the George Eastman House film collection. With his help, she became a noted film writer in her own right. A collection of her witty and cogent writings, Lulu in Hollywood, was published in 1982.

So here we have a really good “Hearts and Daggers: A Rochester Love Story” subject to play with.

I found a number of photos of Brooks all over the net. I think that this one may do the trick. I will however remove the lettering and just title it LULU goes to Rochester.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

“Hearts and Daggers: A Rochester Love Story.”

Working on two ideas for a show at "The Shoe Factory Art Co-op" with the theme of “Hearts and Daggers: A Rochester Love Story.” So being in the city with all this snow and no sun..... I think I may use a idea from Edward Hopper, but I will use snow instead of train tracks. I have a Victorian house here in Rochester on the corner of Scio and Charlotte streets that is just around the corner from my studio. Every time I see this house I think of Edward Hopper and one of his paintings titled "House by the Railroad" that he did in 1925 and was the first purchase by the new Museum of Modern Art.

"House by the Railroad"- Edward Hopper -1925

Here is my idea. I have a number of pictures of the Victorian house in question so I used Photoshop to mock it up to see if it would fly as an image. Futzed with it for a while to see which image would get the feeling that I wanted. I think that I have what I want. The old beauty and grander of Rochester that I love coupled with the snow and dark winter that I hate.

Time to transfer to a panel and get cracking!

"House by a Snowbank"




Friday, December 17, 2010

Zombie Kids

Well I've been working on a commission for my nephew, he wanted a picture of his kids to look like Zombies. Since its for his significant other.... I made nice. Don't think that the kids would look good with blue skin and blood running down their chins. So I did a Zombie background and here is how it ended up.

Zombie Kids 24 X 15.5 inches
  Here are the steps that the painting went through to get finished.

Stage one
Stage Two
Stage Three

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Finshed up dinner and watching NCIS then up to the studio to work.

Worked on the Pelican painting till it told me that its done.

Pelican - 24 X 13 Inches - Acrylic on Panel

Working while it snows!

Been working on a painting of a pelican that I found on the beach last spring. Here are some pics of my progress
Stage One - pencil outline

Stage 2 - Blocking in some colour
Stage 3 - Working on how to paint feathers. Its seems to be all in the type of brush that you use. Using a rigging brush and the results are nice.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Back from all the Thanksgiving trips and Wedding in Canada.

Been really busy the last couple of weeks. Hard to get work done but I've managed to piece time together so that I have some work done.

Working on getting another painting started and looking for some ideas to test my meddle. Maybe a seascape with a nude woman? More on that later.

I have finished both the painting of the Sea Monster and Annie. So here they are:

 Sea Monster - 2 X 4 Feet Acrylic on Gesso'ed board.