Every piece of art has a story. The three artists whose work is featured in the February 2021 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase share the stories and inspiration behind their artwork for our blog below.
Carol with Blue Sweater by Peggy Magovern
18 x 20 inches
Prismacolor Premier colored pencils and Prismacolor Stix woodless colored pencils, Caran d'Ache Neocolor 1 wax pastels, Canson Mi-Teintes Touch sanded paper.
(Photo by Carol Ragel)
Carol became a friend and mentor when I had my first job in commercial illustration. She was hard of hearing. I was born half deaf. With this in common, we shared a bond of understanding that added to our mutual love of art. Each of us went on to different paths, but our friendship remained.
Over time, Carol became deaf, a widow, and dependent on a wheelchair. As if these things weren't unfair enough, I saw how the pandemic added stress and isolation to Carol's daily life. But I wanted to let people know of this remarkable woman and how she is much more than the sum total of these burdens. I was compelled to do her portrait.
As a portrait artist, I love how the face tells the story of life. Experiences shape expressions, and I wanted to show Carol's complexity. Carol's eyes are sensitive and compassionate. Carol's mouth seems to question her challenges, as there are different moods when you look left and right. And Carol's chin describes a resilience that can only come from facing life with bravery and gratitude.
When I rendered the background, I wanted to render swirling colors and textures that not only surround her, they become her. Colors merge into her face as if she's become vulnerable to external forces. Maybe she has. Nothing is "steady" around her. Yet her face seems to remain steadfast and unmoved. But is it? That is where there needs to be a closer look.
Peggy Magovern's art, "Carol with Blue Sweater" showed last Fall at San Francisco's deYoung Museum, and in Foundation for the Arts magazine, France. Award-winning in fine art with published works that include the Smithsonian, Oxford University Press, and Newsweek. She also directed an international portrait workshop in Los Angeles last Summer.
See more at: www.PMagovern.com
Serenity by Pat Monical
12 x 16 inches
Caran D'Ache Pablo and Luminance, Faber-Castell Polychromos, Stabilo Aquarellable white pencil (some highlights) on Canson Mi-Teintes felt gray art board
(Artist's own photo)
My cat, Alex, loves our three-season porch. It's his happy place and I recently found him reclining in bliss in a spot of sun. Nothing defines him better and I knew I had to do this portrait.
I chose the Mi-Teintes art board because I enjoy working on toned surfaces and for its texture. To me it mimics the texture of canvas and I use this texture to my advantage with colored pencil. In this piece it provided a means to suggest the window screen and also the texture of the carpet. For areas of less texture, I used odorless mineral spirits with a barely damp brush to blend.
If only we could stop and enjoy such simple pleasures as cats do. I'm sure I have a similar countenance when in the studio.
About Pat Monical:
Pat Monical holds degrees in astrophysics and mathematics from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Her love of art led her to also study studio art. She has worked as an artist for more than 30 years. Her artwork has been featured in Ann Kullberg’s CP Treasures 6, CP Hidden Treasures 5 and 6, Color Magazine, and Ann Kullberg's website blog
See more at: https://www.facebook.com/patmonicalart
An Age of Indigo by Tamsin Dearing
10 x 8 inches
Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils on Stonehenge paper
(Photo by Réhahn Photography. Used with permission,)
I have always been fascinated by older faces, and would love to see the great privilege that age is be more appreciated and valued in Western societies. This means I am often attracted to drawing faces like hers which are so full of life and character. The moment I saw her I knew that it was a portrait I had to draw, and of course it had to be in color with those amazing blue fingers.
This was the first time I had attempted a portrait so complicated in colored pencil so I was rather daunted, but also knew that like every drawing does, it would teach me a lot. Although it might be advisable to test and decide on a color palette before starting, I prefer to take the higher risk approach of working out my colors on the page as I go.
I draw by gently layering colors, being careful to only apply light layers, as this allows the colors to blend on the page. I prefer to preserve the grain of the paper so I use a very gentle touch and do not blend with any pressure or burnishing. I find that with the texture of Stonehenge paper you can apply many colors to the same area which allows for a complex range of hues if desired, and with the help of a kneadable eraser these can be taken back a bit and altered as required.
This beautiful woman has captured the imagination of a great many people, and has proven to be my most popular artwork to date. I think that the combination of the complimentary colors and her wonderful expression really speak to people. It shows how much of a smile is not just in the shape of the mouth which is not visible here, but worn across the whole face. Her smiling eyes sparkle with a trail of lines in her face thanks to a lifetime of laughing. This joy is simply contagious and shares happiness across any lingual, generational, and cultural divide.
About Tamsin Dearing:
Tamsin is a professional fine artist, specializing in classical portraiture in pencil, colored pencil and pastel. She is a self-taught artist who loves to create a connection between the hand, the page, the subject, and the viewer. She draws on commission, and exhibits both locally and in national exhibitions across the UK.
See more at: https://tamsindearing.co.uk
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