Thursday, May 10, 2007

Red Blouse

'Red Blouse'.........oil on canvas panel.........11x14"
I painted this portrait of Yolanda, an aspiring actress, during a three hour painting session at the Los Feliz workshop (please click on Los Feliz Workshop link to the right for more info regarding the workshops)
Initially I met the lovely Yolanda at a local diner Ben and I frequently visit. While Yolanda was taking our lunch order, I finally summoned enough courage and asked her to model for our painting workshop. She affably agreed and was a complete joy to work with. She conducted herself professionally and remained motionless the entire time she posed.

...........a few sketches

25 minute charcoal sketch

5 minute charcoal sketch


'Griffith Park Brush Fire' - May 08th, 2007
(picture taken from studio rooftop at 9:30pm)

A few days ago, Ben and I (as well as hundreds of Los Feliz residents) had to evacuate our home due to the rapidly encroaching brush fire that swept through one fifth of Griffith Park. I'll never forget the feeling of panic washing over me as I stepped out the front door to witness a wall of turbulent flames creeping down the hillside towards the homes nestled close to the park entrance. I raced back into the house to grab my cat and immediately fled the house and found refuge at our art studio located a little less than two miles from our house.
Throughout the evening we were barraged with numerous phone calls from anxious friends and family members who were concerned about our our safety......many generously and benevolently offering their homes for us to stay overnight or as long as we needed. My sister Sophie, her fiancé Andy and a few locals kept us company as we solemnly watched Griffith Park being ravaged by flames from atop the studio roof.
Fortunately (and thankfully) there were no major injuries or deaths and no homes were damaged. The newly renovated Observatory, the enchanting Cypress Grove I frequently hike to and the LA Zoo were also spared due to the tremendous dedication and hard work from our local firefighters. Wednesday night we were allowed to return to our respective homes safely and soundly.
Now that the dust has settled, the smoke has cleared and the embers have extinguished, life in Los Angeles is promptly getting back to normal and has already begun the healing process of physical and spiritual regeneration. Onward!


Tom Kidd said...

That is a fantastic portrait. You know just when to stop, a rare ability I don't possess. The canvas showing at the bottom is very satisfying to see. Masterful drawings too. I'm always saying wow when I come to your blog.

Even though we'll be inundated with numerous biting bugs here soon, the one good thing about living where we do is that it's so wet that fires have a hard time spreading. This part of Connecticut is quite moist and humid in the summer.

What you went through sounds very scary. Every now and then I imagine having to run out of the house as it burns with as many charred paintings as I can carry. Oh, and then there's floods but we don't get those high on the hill here.

Donald Wienand said...

hmmm,nice life drawing scetches, very jummy - i like them..

les lull said...

few people get close to caliber of vision Schmid has. I would say you are damn close. A fond admirer of your brushwork.

Robin Weiss said...

Jennifer, Richard Schmid is one of my heroes and Les is right. I love your landscapes but your portraits and figures have a quality that excedes anything i've seen out there.
"Red Blouse" achieves a timeless mystery that allows the viewer to wander the threads of the story. Cool that she agreed to sit for the class!

Glad you,Ben, Furry critters, house and studio survived the fire and glad your back posting I missed the inspiration.

William K. Moore said...

Jennifer.. excellent figure work as usual. The red dress kind of goes along with the theme of the red sky of last Tuesday's fire. I imagine you are already thinking of paintings to set aside for your next Segil show. Almost half way through May.. can you believe it? Before you know it it will be "show time!" So nice to see your new work up again figure or PA.

Stefan Nuetzel said...

Hi Jennifer, I saw it on the news here in Austria about the fire. Isn´t it frightening how weak mankind is against the powers of nature? Glad you are fine.

The portrait is outstanding. Actually I don´t like it when one artist gets compared with another and getting compared with Schmidt is really a big compliment. But you paint like Jennifer MacChristian and that is wonderful!

The charcoal sketches are also super.

Jennifer McChristian said...

Thanks Tom!
There is an advantage to having a limited amount of time during the painting sessions. It forces me to paint quickly and intuitively and to stop even if the painting is not complete, thus allowing me to leave some of the canvas area bare.

I think we could have definitely used some of that Connecticut humidity last week ;)
I guess no matter where you live, there will always be Mother Nature's calamities to deal with in one form or another.

Jennifer McChristian said...

Thanks for visiting D.

.....checked out your link- your figure drawings are quite alluring!

Jennifer McChristian said...

Thank you Les!

Jennifer McChristian said...

Thanks Robin!
Yolanda's presence did emanate an enigmatic presence I hope to have captured in the portrait.

.....and thank you for the well wishes..... I too am glad we survived the fire.

Jennifer McChristian said...

Thanks Bill!

I am in the process of preparing pieces for my upcoming show....looking forward to it! Hope to see you there.

....It's already May!?....Yikes! I better hustle!

Jennifer McChristian said...

I agree.... disasters of that magnitude can really make any person feel fragile and vulnerable. Quite a reality check.

I appreciate your warm and supportive compliments by the way!

.....and thank you for the well wishes.


Scary about the fire. I really like the speed of the charcoal drawings, and the portrait. Yes working under pressure helps, one doesn't have time to fuss or change things unecessarily. Great work!

Michael Pieczonka said...

Jennifer, The portait painting is a smashing one. I love the loseness in the strokes.. and you have left just enough of that "unfinished" quality that makes for a really great painting. I like the drawings too.. always impressed by your draftsmanship! Seeing the times and accuracy you've gotten on these really hits home for me as to how important solid drawing is. The backbone of everything I guess?

cheers, Michael

rob ijbema said...

hi Jennifer,we saw the fires on the news,that was a close one....scary.The portrait is outstanding,i agree with Stefan,we don't need another Schmid,jennifer is good enough!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I couldn't agree more with all of the positive comments about this stunning work. The loose quality and the subtle color and a bold dash of red really smack you. Passionate.
I'll bet she loved it.

Jennifer McChristian said...

Thanks Andrew! the saying goes, 'No fuss, no muss'

......a great little reminder to keep me from getting too finicky, especially with time constraints.

Jennifer McChristian said...

Thanks Michael!

.....drawing and painting is like peanut butter and jelly. You need both to make it tasty :)

Jennifer McChristian said...

Thank you Rob!

Jennifer McChristian said...

Thanks Mary!

....and yes, Yolanda was very pleased with the results.

Mike said...

Jennifer . . .

WOW! I just cannot get over the subtle shifts in color . .all over every painting . . .I am in AWE! I'll be back to your site and blog over and over again. Thanks for sharing. BTW . .do you mind if I set up a link to your blog?


PleinEric said...

Hi Jennifer,

I saw a link on William Wray's blog to yours. So impressed with your work! Absolutely inspiring to me. Both you and William have rekindled an interest in urban subjects. Thanks,


Jennifer McChristian said...

Thanks for visiting.....and for adding me to your links list :)
I have added you as well.
I thoroughly enjoyed perusing through your blog!

Jennifer McChristian said...

Thanks Eric!

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