Monday, April 28, 2008

The Freshman

thoroughbreds by lori levin

"The Freshman"


oil on canvas

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Thoroughbreds bred for the racetrack are often turned out in a field after they are weaned until about two years old. They usually do not receive too much handling during this time as people are waiting to see how they mature. Generally they can be rough looking with oversized halters and wild manes and tales. However, an individual that knows horses can take one look at them and see who may have the potential to be athletic, based on conformation and even the look in their eye. You may be reading this thinking a snap judgment like that could be wrong. This is true but don't we all tend to do that with each other?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sketches and Slobber

Pennsville by Lori Levin "Tuesday Afternoon"
sketch in moleskine

Pit Bull by Lori Levin "Window Seat"

sketch in moleskine

Just some more looks into my sketchbook. Presently there are five more that I have not yet scanned in with two more added each week. I better get crackin'!

The one of Gracie looking out the car window made me laugh the entire time I did it. The original plan was to draw the horses in the field that I had driven a couple of miles to see. It was a rainy day and I thought I would entertain Gracie by taking her with since her daily walk would not take place. Obviously she had other plans. Often she will sit politely and look out the window and then just settle down to sleep in the car. Of course since I went out of my way to draw horses, she had to block my view and fill the car with her anxious cries and serious slobber. Was she thinking she wanted to go out there and chase that horse? If she was, she doesn't know I saved her from some very hard hooves.

Two future sketches will turn into paintings because they were so strong and I can't get them out of my head. You will see them in upcoming posts. Also to be shown is the finish of "The Freshman" and the start of a new pet portrait, "Amanda". I think they will be worth the wait.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sketchbook Education

lighthouse by Lori Levin "Leftovers"
(Finns Point Lighthouse)
sketch in moleskine

"Positive and Negative"

sketch in moleskine

"When Rain Doesn't Matter"

sketch in moleskine

Often I'm asked how long I spend sketching and why do not all things in my sketchbook turn into paintings. The answer is both simple and complicated. So here's my best effort at an explanation.

I set out to do at least 2 sketches a week in my book and each takes about 45 minutes once I settle on a location and a composition. Sometimes I do more and sometimes less. I can tell you that when I do less my work suffers and I have a feeling of disconnect. My sketches are the medicine for the ills of my art or a vitamin that supplies what I'm not getting in my regular art diet.

That brings me to why not everything becomes a painting. Sketching is immediate. It requires my mind to quiet and to be very much in the moment. Without knowing it I often am getting an education in composition, value and use of line. If I spend enough time doing it, I no longer worry if a sketch will come out good or "ruin my book". The law of averages will make the book appear to be pleasing to the eye. Also, without trying I will work out stale compositions and come up with new ways of looking at things. I notice my studio work becomes more decisive and less timid the more time I spend with my moleskine.

Yes, this was what the professors in college tried to teach us. I had many sketchbooks then but never kept them faithfully. I was always just looking for the means to an end. It often felt like an hour I couldn't afford to spare. Now I feel as I cannot afford not to spend an hour connecting with my pencil. Again a sign I have grown up a little. The funny thing is, sketching is play. Maybe I've figured out how to be a child again? I believe it is something even better.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Art of the Day

tennis ball by Lori Levin "Tennis Ball or Dog Toy"
oil on canvas

This is cool! Pardon the shameless self promotion (isn't that what a blog is about anyway?). My work has been chosen as the "Art of the Day" for EBSQ where I am a "Plus" member. What does that mean? I am not just a paying member but part of an elite group that were juried in to this popular online community for artists. The topic was "balls" and I guess this piece fit the bill. The painting is sold and now resides in England. Perhaps something you purchased will become the "Art of the Day"!

Monday, April 07, 2008

New Work New Show

Penn Beach by Lori Levin
"Penn Beach #3"
acrylic on canvas

Here is the third piece painted while sitting in my car, parked along the river at Penn Beach. Thank goodness for my Scion's plastic steering wheel, as the green paint that found its way there washed off easily. We won't discuss the fate of my clothing.

Friday April 11th at 6pm is the next opening at First Impressions Gallery in Salem, NJ. I will be there for a bit to meet and greet and hope to see you there. Six of my most recent paintings will be exhibited. I am told that the work there will all have a spring inspired theme.

Please contact me if you need directions of for more information.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Strange Relationship

Penn Beach by Lori Levin "Oberlin"
graphite sketch in moleskine

Ft Elfsborg by Lori Levin "FT Elfsborg Road"

graphite sketch in Moleskine

Riverview Tree by Lori Levin "Aging Gracefully"

graphite sketch in Moleskine

I'm busy working in the studio on some new horse paintings and finishing up framing and one little plein air piece for the next First Impressions Gallery show. My next post will include details of that. I've noticed that I am behind on blog posts, so I thought I would show you some the sketches in my moleskine sketch book.

These sketches are a good indication of what is going on in my mind and life at the time. The above images are from a few weeks ago and I see that they are somewhat careful and polite. I have more sketches to post that are darker, bolder and more graphic. This doesn't mean that they are better than what I display here but rather they mimic my attitude.

I'm feeling bolder about my art. Somehow my vision is clearer. Only the work I do will prove that so I don't want to say much more. However, I notice a strange relationship building with my car. I do some of my best work in there. All of my sketches of late have been created in my car as well as another plein air piece that you have not seen as of yet. I'm starting to wonder if I should just keep my paints in there at all times as that is where they end up anyway.

Now I wonder, should I call it painting in plein air when it is done in an automobile?