A portrait for a birthday

I have not drawn a graphite portrait in some time, and so was very pleased when a far away friend wanted a portrait of his sister for her birthday. He wanted it to include it in the movie he was making as a birthday present for her. What a thoughtful thing to do!

Anyway, here’s the portrait

Esther 9-14-2014 lo-res medium

I forgot how pleasant it is draw in graphite and how relaxing – just values, no color.

The bottom line – I want a brother like that!!

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PencilScribbles turns 5

Today PencilScribbles blog turns 5 years old! Time flies when you are painting!

I always try to do something nice for my blog on its birthday… This year the number is significant, and so the present is befitting. PencilScribbles gets a makeover and a new home!!

Welcome to all our friends to our new website AlexandraZonis.com

AlexZonisArt screen 2014-09-05

It is independent, self hosted, has a ton of space and a dazzling array of functionality. That is aside from being beautiful.

Great thank you to my dear friend Laura Sfiat for the fantastic help with setting it up.

The Sketchpack Project 2014

Alex sketchpack concertina 2 8-31-2014August came and went in a single minute it seems. It was even more busy because I was invited and participated in The Sketchpack Project 2014. My regular readers may remember The Sketchpack 2013 from last year. This project is organized and run by my good friend Di Metcalf of Artsource from Capetown, South Africa. Artsource sends out concertina sketchpacks, and participants make a sketch every day for the month of August. Completed sketchpacks go back to Capetown and take part in the exhibition.

These are my 31 (more or less) drawings drawn every day or nearly every day during August 2014. This year I couldn’t be bothered with having a single theme or a discipline to stick to it. So these are a stream of consciousness drawings, whatever happened in my life, that I drew. My friend tragically passed away – I drew his portrait. Charlie the dog came to visit – I drew Charlie. I worked on compositions for paintings and drew thumbnails. Went for walks and drew what I saw. Broke dishes and drew the shards. A fantastic practice – I highly recommend it to anyone.

Thorns on Paper

A Little Light Reading 7-18-2014 lo-res light

Thorns on Paper

12″x12″ (30 x 30 cm) – oil on gessobord – commission

Thorns on Paper is a second commission for Mostly Glass gallery and another painting for the Crinkled Paper show planned for this year end.

I’ve been working on this painting since April, it took nearly three months, longer than I hoped. I am happy to finish and sign it. And it did not help the matter that towards the end a scratch  appeared on a finished background. Could have been Elvis’ work, or I might have gotten careless for a moment – hard to tell. I could not repair it and had to repaint the background.

About the title: Everyone who talked about this painting so far calls it “Caravaggio”, which seems to be an intuitive thing to do given the book title painted in the front. Natural that it may be I find it a bit presumptuous. I titled the painting Thorns on Paper to reflect on the painting on the book cover Crowning with Thorns.

Chicago Sketch Seminar 2014 – retrospect

 

A month ago, on June 7-8, we Urban Sketchers Chicago had our first ever Chicago Sketch Seminar 2014. After a year of planning (and fretting!) it was finally here and turned out a success. I managed the planning process for this event and was privileged to lead the finest team of planners one can wish for.

Dozens of sketchers from Chicago, from around the country (Cincinnati, Portland OR, San Francisco, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, etc), even from Canada came to Chicago and sketched together. They took 8 sketching workshops, I taught a workshop on color. They participated in a number of sketching activities that showed off our beautiful and oh-so-sketchable city. They had one Dinner, Drink and Draw event and it was good!

The Seminar came and went in a flash and left some wonderful memories and lots of new friends. My friend Kordt Larsen produced a short documentary film on the Chicago Sketch Seminar 2014 – shown in the beginning of this post. (Here’s a link to it – https://vimeo.com/100442711)

For more photos and details see USk Chicago Sketch Seminar blog where our Correspondent Andrew Banks published 3 part article on the event:

USk Chicago Sketch Seminar – Part 1

USk Chicago Sketch Seminar – Part 2

USk Chicago Sketch Seminar – Part 3

The White Wave – all finished, framed and gone

White Wave packed 5-30-14

This is my final parting shot of The White Wave painting. I am packing it to go to Mostly Glass gallery.

The White Wave

The White Wave 5-3-2014 10x7 lo-res

The White Wave

9″x12″ (23 x 30 cm) – oil on gessobord – commission

Here’s a new painting titled The White Wave. A couple of years ago, when I first painted crinkled paper, the complexity, the chaos and the lack of logic or reason of it has got to be too much, and I promised myself that I would not paint crinkled paper again unless I would be paid for doing it. HA! I broke my promise in less than 3 months, just to see if the first painting was not a fluke and if I can really paint wrinkled paper. I could 🙂.

The real thing happened in the beginning of this year. A gallery that I worked with some years ago suggested a solo show later this year, the theme being crinkled paper. I am working on a new collection of works for this show. The first two pieces of this collection the gallery has commissioned – that’s the right way to support art! The White Wave is the first piece of this new series.

As far as good news go, this is pretty much up there!

Memory Blocks: E is for Empathy

E is for Empathy 3-10-2014 lo-res

E is for Empathy

12″x9″ (30 x 23 cm) – oil on gessobord – NFS

This is the latest installation of Memory Blocks series, it is titled E is for Empathy.

This painting is created for the front cover of my husband’s new book The Rumor of Empathy accepted for publication by Routledge Taylor and Francis group. This is the reason the painting is “Not For Sale”, I want to keep all the rights for now.

Update on March 30th: Lou heard from the publisher – E is for Empathy image is accepted for the front cover! Happy news :)!

Eggshells

Eggshells 6x6 11-3-13 lo-res

Eggshells

6″ x 6″ (15 x 15 cm) – oil on gessobord – SOLD

The last one! Number 6 of 6!

I had several subjects for this painting, some were planned for a long time. But that one evening, right before I was to start a new board, Lou decided to make an omelette and as we know – you cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs :). He threw the eggshells into the sink. When I picked them up to toss them into trash I marveled at how perfect they were. Out of the window went my planned compositions, I couldn’t sleep that night waiting for that morning light to hit my precious eggshells.

Now that this one is finished I am taking a much deserved break. The house got overtaken by entropy while I painted, I abandoned my sketches, a portrait promised to a friend is still in pencil… I am going to be busy doing all that :).

And then I am planning something new :)! Stay tuned!

Plus Two Dollars

Plus Two Dollars 10-18-2013 lo-res

Plus Two Dollars

6″ x 6″ (15 x 15 cm) – oil on gessobord – SOLD

The second painting for the second show I am painting for. This one in California.

But let me tell you a story. I have this church down the block,  I am sure many of you have heard of it by now. Every year they have a rummage sale, and every year I go to hunt for props, and every time I hunt I score. A winning proposition :).

This year I went again and found a basket-full of mismachted bone china, bent silver spoons, a large shell with an ocean sound inside, and a set of 16 prints by Toulouse-Lautrec. Every object was a dollar or two. The fun started at earnest when I went to pay for my loot. The nice elderly gentleman was a singularly wrong person to manage the cash box! He decided to do the sums in his head and kept making mistakes in my favor. By the time he had 9, I had 11  and corrected him… by the time he had 14, I had 16 and corrected him again. All the while he wanted to talk about Lautrec, American realism, painting in general, and modeling for life sessions. In the end he got 18. I no longer believed him and gave him 20 – God bless!! 🙂

Here I have for you the three cups from the rummage sale… Plus the two dollars difference in our sums.