It is an honor to be a featured artist at Portland International Airport this year! The exhibit, titled “Portland Soul: Portraits in Jazz & Blues”, is on display on Concourse E from February through July 2016. This exhibit features many of my portraits of the Portland blues and Jazz musicians whose music has inspired me to do the work that I do. As I was putting this show together, I started thinking about all the musicians I have painted and how many more I would still like to paint (or draw). Some are still with us, and sadly many have passed away in recent years. It began to dawn on me that my work is becoming a documentary of sorts, which hopefully will evolve into a book as soon as I have enough portraits finished! To see more about my exhibit, and others at PDX, visit the Port of Portland’s PDX Art Program.
Photo credit: Dan Kvitka
A big thank you to Ken Boddie of KOIN 6, who put together this segment on my work! My story is actually part of a larger series Ken is working on called “Where We Live”, which features many stories about Oregon. Check out the video at KOIN 6 – Where We Live.
I am so honored to be part of this wonderful memorial tribute to Judy VanAlstyne, commissioned by the Bill Naito Company in Portland. The memorial was designed by Mary Galluzzo Design and written by Janet Gonrowski. And I was fortunate enough to get to know Judy during my month long process of painting her. Judy served the Bill Naito Co. for 24 years as property manager, and was known and revered for her dedication to Portland’s downtown and Old Town. She was a mentor, a strong supporter of women in business, and she was a key team member responsible for bringing City Target to downtown Portland. So it is only fitting that Judy’s memorial is permanently exhibited in the Galleria Building in Portland.
I’m honored that my Waterfront Blues Festival painting received a First Place award in the 2015 Oregon Society of Artists Rose Festival Art Show! Many thanks to everyone at the OSA and to juror Geoff McCormack for this wonderful award!
It’s always a great feeling to start off the New Year with a new portrait painting. This year is especially meaningful to me, because before I started this painting in early December, I hadn’t painted in almost a year. As an artist, that long absence from painting can make one feel very hesitant to bring out the brushes and canvas again. There’s the feeling of being out of practice, and even worse… fear of not being able to paint anything at all! Well, I got out my brushes, relished in the familiar smells of the oil paints as I mixed my palette, and took a deep breath and started to paint. Trusting that all my years of painting experience had not disappeared, I began the process of building my painting. I paint in layers, and for the first time I’ve documented this process in a slideshow. I’m still not quite finished, but it’s mostly there. I’m going to set it aside for awhile, and then see if there’s anything else it needs…
The first musician portrait I painted was in 1998, and my subject was Linda Hornbuckle. For the painting (which appeared on her CD “Clearly”) I photographed her at Music Millenium, and later in her living room as she sang. Sadly, Linda passed away last week, after a two year battle with cancer. I will always remember this beautiful woman and her beautiful voice. The community will always remember her as the great soul diva of the Northwest. Tonight, I am donating a large print of the painting at “More Love for Linda”, an all-star benefit to help with her medical costs.
To attend, or donate, visit http://www.crystalballroompdx.com/events/130472-More-Love-for-Linda—A-Community-Benefit-for-Linda-Hornbuckle-featuring. A video tribute featuring Linda singing Amazing Grace, accompanied by the late Janice Scroggins… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwZoQkdNea0
This is the fourth year I have been creating original drawings for Thara Memory’s American Music Project’s Benefit Concerts. This one of Bennie Maupin, along with my drawing of Terrell Stafford, auctioned for $2000! I am so pleased to be able to contribute to programs like this that bring essential arts training to our students!
I did several 30 minute portrait studies during my weekend at the Vancouver Wine and Jazz Festival… this is one I did for Lamar Savage, commissioned by his wife for his birthday. I think he liked it!
Norman Leyden was a nationally known conductor, composer, clarinetist, and educator. He was best known as the conductor of the Oregon Symphony Pops orchestra, however he also worked with Glenn Miller during his years in the US Air Force. More recently, Mr. Leyden performed at the Hollywood Bowl with Pink Martini. I photographed Norman during his induction into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame in 2008, and used one of the photos for my pencil drawing of him. It was recently on display at the “Tribute to Norman Leyden” concert at the Arlene Schnitzer Hall in Portland. I was very fortunate to have met Norman just weeks before, and he seemed so pleased with the copy of the pencil drawing that I gave him. Norman Leyden passed away July 23, 2014.
This is the second grant that I have received from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, and thanks to this opportunity, I was able to attend this year’s Annual Portrait Society of America’s Conference held in Washington DC. I observed painting demos featuring the top portrait artists in the country, and received portfolio critiques from the same portrait artists. One thing that was emphasized was the importance of drawing from life, which I have been neglecting for much too long. Since returning from the convention, I have been inspired to sketch from life on a regular basis, and now I see why it is so important in my progression as an artist. This 30-minute sketch was done while my daughter was in town for her birthday this month.