Sunday, June 14, 2020

Challenge Yourself...You Never Know Until You Try

Challenge Yourself

Sunflower     graphite

Drawing from life, some subjects may seem overwhelming. They are so beautiful, I wonder if I can do them justice. The answer apparently is to just begin, and not overthink.

Once you are in the moment, time melts away, and the subject takes you over.

I am comfortable with the medium, and it seems to cooperate and enhance the intent.

Not stopping to break or reassess is good, because it's the sureness of the stroke I'm after.

Getting a result that pleases me is worth everything. And shows me I should take more chances!

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Vegetables as Models

Vegetables, Models for the Ages

 Eggplant, radishes and turnip    oil    14 x 11

After the new experience of ordering in vegetables during quarantine, I look at them all grouped together and know they are perfect models. The subject matter is timeless. They always look their best fresh from the market, which is motivation enough for me to paint smart. By this, I mean to paint the 'first look' and keep it. Three sessions at most for their optimum luster to hold.

Regardless, after three days I'm ready to think about how I want to prepare them in meals. 

Then they've earned their keep, perfect for still life and then giving up their lusciousness for nutritious dishes. Does their posing enhance my meals in the long run? Do I as cook, take extra care to see that these vegetables are used in dishes worthy of their service? So far, it seems so. Food preparation is a creative act too. It's what you make of the ingredients.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Quarantine and Creativity, A Fresh Approach

  Beets     0il   14 x 11   Louise E. D. Herman   


Quarantine and Creativity

Who knew staying home could encourage such a better use of time? Errands are reduced to necessary doctor and dental appointments. The post office, bank, and supermarket are accessible on line. And so, art and writing can take over and be in the forefront.

Ordering from Instacart, the Freshmarket has such lucious fruits and vegetables, they beg to be painted.

Revisiting and rereading how favorite artists think is a good way to learn about their process. For example, reading Charles Sovek and browsing his wonderful lessons on line, 
there's lots to learn.

Looking at paintings by Sovek and Fairfield Porter, and at the daily painters on line, is encouraging a fresh color - note approach. I'm paying more attention to how things appear on canvas at the start of a painting, and how they turn out.

Deconstructing things plain and simple, painting just a bit beyond the color note, can be a refreshing way to enjoy the end as well as the beginning. The initial enthusiasm of what inspired the painting remains.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


This Painting Surprised Me!  After viewing so many recent hard edged paintings, the soft cotton candy cherry blossoms are astonishing. It is true that Alex has always maintained a painterly approach. His earlier paintings revel in color, and he still uses color notes to prelude his larger more mapped out work. But here, zen and Rothko- like, this picture is a poem!  I recognized Cherry Blossoms from my observation of two flowering cherry trees that were in my front yard on Long Island. The blossoms were pale pink and fleeting. Even a soft breeze would cause them to flutter and sail gracefully to the ground in large heaps of arc shaped petals- not as fragile as magnolia leaves, but quietly delicate.

Here,  tufts of blossoms look similar, but reveal a subtle soft shading like clouds. The dark reed like branches give rhythm, eye movement, with hints of gold winking around as well. And the gradual darkening of the pink suggests grounding, without any sign of a trunk. 

Alex has a clear, unfiltered eye that only has expanded in time in a burst of originality and growth. His brush is an extension of this vision and with new paintings such as this,  he graciously gifts us great rewards.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


This is a really perceptive presentation of the essence of Alex Katz.

It is extraordinary that Alex is receiving such recognition and wide acclaim appealing to all ages, and being recognized around the world for his accomplishments. It is such a testament to his uncompromising faith in his vision, that throughout his long career, he has held fast to the straightforward methods of seeing and painting that have brought him to this satisfying place. He is an inspiration both in the way he creates, and the way he presents himself. He always has something honest and true to say in explaining his process, his subject matter, and his approach to art. The depth of his knowledge, expressed in simple yet cuttingly perceptive words, is startling and refreshing.

Monday, November 19, 2012



One day I decided it was time! In reading Art publications, when an artist's work compelled me to want to see more, invariably there was a web site link at the end of the article where I could browse and get a sense of the artist's style, technique, passion. I enjoy reading the bios and artist's statements. I enjoy seeing how different subject matter is handled. And even, ultimately, I enjoy seeing how the web site presents itself. The design is also about the artist.

Since I enjoy design, I wanted to embark on this web site adventure for myself, but felt that doing my blogs, which I enjoy immensely, was within my capacity. But a web site was intimidating. I'm not sure if there's a lot of difference, but when I went to search for information about web site creation, it seemed complicated.

So I looked around and found a business person with good credentials, and decided to work with him to create my site. And work with him is the operative phrase here. Since I had a basic concept of how I wanted the site to look and function, I presented that as a framework. Based on that, we agreed on a price and I proceeded to create an outline of what I wanted the site to contain, and how I wanted it to work.

Building the site

I did not realize the adventure I was undertaking would become so involved. At first, I picked a fancy script font for my name, as the heading for all the pages. But about a third of the way into the design, I found out that the script font did not translate from my iMac to my iPad, showing up differently on the latter. So I reluctantly chose a font that would be standard across all formats: iMac, iPad, iPhone, and other devices.

The new font made my name look different, spatially, physically, so I felt positioning the name differently would work better for the heading, which would carry through all the pages. Once this was decided, it was easier to see how the site would develop: the Narration bar to the right would appear in the same font, capital and small, to my liking.

Thumbnails were the next thing to address. The thumbnails open to larger versions of the art  for easy viewing. They should open smooth, have pleasant borders or no borders, and be of similar sizes when opened. I am still trying to understand the sizing of the pictures so they open reasonably similar, even though some are vertical, some horizontal. Pixels, inches....stay tuned. 

Organizing all so it reads in a logical order, determining which illustrated art to accompany some of the written pages, and establishing a contact page for the viewer to input their comments or write for more information, such as pricing, was the last but important page to create. And I thought it would be cool to have a slide show on the last page, where the pictures might change for variety and a subtle special effect.

Finishing Up

Since I am almost at the end of the process, I can say it is a great learning experience. I wonder if I used a "Create Your Own" service I would be able to handle it. I know for sure, I would need a lot of feedback from the "support team!" My vocabulary has increased and perhaps I will add to this post with some of my new 'technical' terms'. I've also learned that whether you use a do it yourself service, or engage a business to create this for you, you must have 'support' that  you can work with, because the web site ultimately represents you, and so you have to feel that what you create does just that.

 If you wish to comment on this post, with your own experiences in designing a web site, or having one designed for you, I would enjoy hearing from you.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012




                                                         (c)2012 Louise E.D. Herman "Ranier Cherries," oil on canvas, 30 x 20 inches
                                                                                                          private collection