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Bright Stars, Warm Heart 5.25×4.5 Graphite & Watercolor on Arches paper
Available on Etsy.
When I was born, I hit the Aunty jackpot. I have the most wonderful, loving, funny Aunts & Great Aunts. Some of them have passed on as sweet memories in a pair of earrings given to me as a girl, or a playful phrase my family still uses that originated with my wonderful Aunt Tess. The Aunties who still tickle my heart today are all long distance, so we stay in touch on the phone and via email and old fashioned letters and cards. This little painting is based loosely on an old black and white photo of my Aunt S. taken in the late 50’s. She lives in Connecticut with her handsome hubby and her mom – my grandmother – in a little house surrounded by hundreds of day lilies and hosta, a couple of Maine Coon cats, and a lovable, snorty pug named Bandit. The painting doesn’t resemble her the way a portrait would, but I had a lovely time thinking about her while painting, and I think I tucked a little of her verve and easy laughter under the pigments.

If you’re interested in winning some watercolor paper, a book on painting still life, and 14 tubes of watercolor, visit yesterday’s post and leave a comment.

Art Quote
Joseph DeCamp’s portrait of Duveneck strongly indicates his physical and mental make-up. The expression of his eyes and hands in the canvas, suggesting a quietude that to the outsider might mean almost anything, yet to those that know him conveys the feeling of latent power and reminds one that these blue eyes of his are used to look at things firmly and to take from them a clear-cut summary of what is there. The portrait is a double tribute of DeCamp to his teacher. It was a work of love, time having been taken from commissions to complete it for a gift to Cincinnati, where DeCamp was born and received his early art training. It also carries the sign of the latter’s training under Duveneck. A fine piece of characterization ; the person summed it up who said, ” Cut the hand on the left out and show it to anybody that knows Duveneck and he will tell you whose hand it is.” Frank Duveneck by Norbert Herrman ~1918

Frank Duveneck, 43×32, painted by Joseph Rodefer DeCamp (American, b.1858, d.1923) approx.1911-1912
Image courtesy of the Cincinnati Art Museum

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5 thoughts on “Watercolor Portrait: Bright Stars, Warm Heart”

  1. I sure love your artist quotes. This is a wonderful painting How do you get such darks in your watercolors? Anyway, often I draw/paint people and they look nothing like the subject. I don’t care. What you captured is the delight in the smile – which is the most important aspect, I think.

  2. Love the painting and loving description of your aunties. All of mine are gone now, but I too had some very good ones, some amazing great aunts, and my mother’s sisters were wonderful. I miss them, and your piece reminded me of them so powerfully.


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