Monday, August 3, 2020

Deann's portrait in pastel by Kim Blair





Deann Stein Hasinoff
(14"x11" pastel on gessoed paper)

I first met Deann, a fellow artist, in an abstract drawing class at the University of Alberta. Her artistic practice continues to focus on exploring abstraction through the use of digital technology. Using black and white digital drawings, along with photography, Deann creates thought provoking expressive art.

Each image is delicately rendered evoking the look and feel of a charcoal drawing. The power in each piece is subtle yet palpable, giving depth and strength to the work. 

Deann's upcoming exhibition, Catching Smoke, is a series of digital drawings working to give visual form to the anxiety she says she has experienced for most of her life. The theme of Deann's show is especially poignant during these unsettled times. 

The show will be held at Harcourt House, here in Edmonton.


(If the gallery is unable to open due to Covid 19 the exhibition will be virtual.)


Catching Smoke
Harcourt House
Art Incubator Gallery
August 21st - October 3rd, 2020
3rd Floor, 10215 - 112 Street
Edmonton, Alberta










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Monday, July 13, 2020

Loren's portrait in pastel by Kim Blair




Loren Marsden
(14"x11" pastel on paper)

Loren is a poet who has the ability to capture and hold your attention as soon as she starts delivering a poem.

I felt myself being drawn into many of the experiences she shared at the open mic evenings at the Stroll of Poets, where she has been a regular since 2018. Her poetry about riding on public transit offered up a fresh honest perspective and I often found myself cheering, laughing out loud, or both, by the end of her readings.

Recently, while catching up on her haiku poetry on FB, I came across a selfie she posted wearing a fabulous toque embellished with equally fabulous oversized metal button (I definitely have button envy) ;0)... and asked permission to paint her.








*If you received this blog post via email subscription the video will not be visible in your email. Please go directly to my art blog by clicking on the following link for kimblairartist.blogspot.com in order to view the short 2 minute video of the creation of this portrait.



Monday, June 22, 2020

Matt and the Cat ...portrait in pastel by Kim Blair





Matt and the Cat
(12.5"x19" wax pastel)


Matt and the Cat was painted from a selfie sent to me via Matt's aunt.

Jasper, the gorgeous cat draped across Matt's shoulders looks huge! I'm not sure if Jasper is a large cat, or it's the perspective of the photo playing tricks, but one thing is for sure, Jasper is a loving playful companion. 

Painting from selfies, can be a challenge because there is often a distortion of the features as people hold their heads down or up depending on how they are looking at the camera.
Add balancing a cat on your shoulders and the you can see how this might change things!
;0)


When I named this portrait, Matt and the Cat, it brought to mind the wonderful Dr. Seuss book The Cat in the Hat and the story of a mischievous cat who tries to entertain Sally and her brother one rainy day when they are confined to the house... hmmmmm sounds a bit like the past few months.

I wonder if Jasper is as mischievous as the cat in the book?






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Monday, June 15, 2020

Clare Balding's portrait in pastel by Kim Blair




Clare Balding
(14"x11" wax pastel)

I thoroughly enjoy watching the British portrait painting show Sky Arts 'Portrait Artist of the Year.'

Like so many programs they have been unable to film new episodes because of Covid 19. 
But luckily they created a live four hour FB portrait painting show, on Sundays, in which artist from around the world can participate by painting the guess celebrity sitter.

Last Sunday, June 7, the sitter was the British Broadcaster Clare Balding. I along with thousands of other artists participated.

Each week they place a montage of the portraits entered around the show title and it was a thrill to see my painting made it onto this page.

Below is a screen shot showing my portrait of Clare in the upper right just inside the white space of the title block.

The image on the screen may be small but my gratitude is huge.

Thank you Sky Arts!


    (My portrait of Clare Balding is the small rectangle    to the right of the last 't' in Portrait)




*If you received this blog post via email subscription the video will not be visible in your email. Please go directly to my art blog by clicking on the following link for kimblairartist.blogspot.com in order to view the short 2 minute video of the creation of this portrait.


Monday, June 8, 2020

Michael's portrait in pastel by Kim Blair



Michael
(14"x11" wax pastel on gessoed w.c. paper)

Social Media is proving to be a great source for reference photos.
I discovered Michael's selfie on Instagram and instantly (pun intended) wanted to paint him... thankfully he agreed. The bits of colour bouncing off his face gave the photo an interesting glow which I thought would be fun to try to suggest in the portrait.

It's no secret that I absolutely love colour so how could I possibly resist this deeply saturated analogous colour scheme! 



"Colour in a picture is like enthusiasm in life."
- Vincent Van Gogh






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Monday, June 1, 2020

Fred's portrait by Kim Blair


Fred Hatt
(14"x11" wax pastel on gessoed w.c. paper)

Fred Hatt is a visual artist and photographer based in New York City. It's because of Fred that I started working with wax pastel.

I absolutely love chalk pastel work, but discovered early on in my artistic journey that the dust created while working with traditional pastel was not good for my health.

When I was researching pastel portraiture I happened upon Fred's work using water soluble wax based pastel. His portraiture/figurative work, created from this medium, was the inspiration for me deciding to experiment with this type of pastel for my portrait work.
Previously I'd used this type of pastel in mixed media painting, but until I saw Fred's work it had not occurred to me that it could be used for portraiture.
This highly pigmented medium allows me to create colourful portraits.

Fred's style of working with wax pastel is dynamic and unique.  His line work, which is captivating and sensual is complemented by his masterful use of colour.

Now, after nearly two years, I have painted 100 portraits.


Thanks for the inspiration Fred!

Check him out on instagram 







*If you received this blog post via email subscription the video will not be visible in your email. Please go directly to my art blog by clicking on the following link for kimblairartist.blogspot.com in order to view the short 2 minute video of the creation of this portrait.





Monday, May 11, 2020

Cole's portrait in pastel by Kim Blair



Cole
(14"x11" wax pastel on gessoed w.c. paper)

Sometimes the universe just drops one in your lap... via Facebook.

That's how I acquired the reference photo Cole, a fellow artist, snapped of his 16 day beard growth. The elongated distortion of this selfie speaks volumes! I'd say it sums up Cole's rebel attitude regarding his beard.

(Thanks Cole for giving me permission to use your photo.)



Regarding your album... I've got you covered.
;0)



*If you received this blog post via email subscription the video will not be visible in your email. Please go directly to my art blog by clicking on the following link for kimblairartist.blogspot.com in order to view the short 2 minute video of the creation of this portrait.