Monday, September 21, 2009

Miniature Show Prep & Update

More soon, but August and September have been busy months for me as I prepare for several miniature shows. Several of my eye portraits below are included in "It's a Small World," a miniature show at Elder Street Gallery in Houston, Texas, which opened Saturday, Sept. 19, and runs through October 4, and until my next eye portrait post, here is a link to see what else I am currently painting in miniature: The Ruby Slippers

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kimberly's Eye #2, completed

"Kimberly's Eye #2", 1/2" diameter (shown actual size), egg tempera on vellum in sterling silver and pewter frame

enlargement for detail

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Painting my eyes on a piano key

my sketch for the painting of my eyes on a piano key

piano key ivory (shown at it's actual size)

In earlier times, the ideal painting surface for many miniature painters was ivory. As most people know, it's no long allowable to market new ivory. One legal source of old ivory is old piano keys which have been stripped off the wooden keys of a piano, so today's miniaturists sometimes like to try painting on 'piano key ivories'.

I wanted to come up with an interesting profile image for my Facebook art fan page, and I thought it would be fun to try painting my own eyes in oil on a piano key ivory, so today I plotted out this sketch.

More soon on this, but first I'll be posting the framed, finished version of "Kimberly's Eye #2".

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The second of two portraits of the same eye in progress

Kimberly's left eye, Version 2, in progress, 1/2" diameter (enlarged)

I've made this start on the second eye portrait of Kimberly's left eye. This portrait expresses a different mood from the first one in the jeweled brooch, and I found a lovely little frame for this one also, which I'll show you with the finished painting later this week.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'm returning to blogging soon, but am in the midst of a two-week break for re-organizing and hosting several special guests. I'm looking forward to catching up with some old friends and my Florida cousin who are coming into town.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Kimberly's Eye in a Pearled Brooch

"Kimberly's Eye," 1/2" diameter (shown actual size)
egg tempera with gold leaf matt in pearled brooch, SOLD

"Kimberly's Eye" (enlarged view)

Here is the first of two versions of Kimberly's eye, painted on a smaller scale, and surrounded with a small vellum matt I made and covered with gold leaf to match it's brooch. The pearled brooch comes from MiniArt Supply.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Variety in Two Portraits of the Same Eye

Kimberly's Left Eye, 1st version

Kimberly's Left Eye, 2nd version

My next two eye portraits will be based on these two drawings I've prepared. They are smaller than my previous single eye portraits, and in this instance, I will be painting two versions of the same eye from two different photo references. It's very interesting to see how much one eye can change just from a simple shift in angle, lighting, and facial expression.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Kathleen and Jason Coy, Husband & Wife Miniature Eye Portraits

Kathleen and Jason Coy's eye portraits, shown actual size, 3/4" each in diameter, egg tempera on Kelmscott vellum
Kathleen's eye portrait, enlarged
Jason's eye portrait, enlarged

I've ordered this pearled brooch from Nancy Still's MiniArt Supply as a nice way for Kathleen to wear her own eye portrait or her husband's

Here are the completed eye portraits of friend, fellow artist, and blogger Kathleen Coy and her husband, Jason Coy.  The pearled brooch above is just one example of how an eye portrait can be worn.  These portraits are my gift to Kathleen and Jason.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

"Terry's Left Eye"

"Terry's Left Eye", 3/4" diameter (shown actual size), egg tempera on Kelmscott vellum

"Terry's Left Eye" enlarged for detail

Here is an eye portrait I just completed of my friend Terry Sebastian.  I shared high school art classes with Terry, and this month she has been taking special care of her mother who is very ill with cancer.  See more about Terry and her special prayer for her mother on my portrait blog

Here's a link you might enjoy, to a delightful collection of antique eye miniatures!

Spiritual eye portraits & double eye portraits

"Mother Meera's Eyes", 1 3/8" x 1 3/4", egg tempera on Kelmscott vellum in Venetian glass mosaic easel frame, double eye portrait of Indian saint, Mother Meera 

"Amma's Eyes," 1 3/8" x 1 3/4", egg tempera on Kelmscott vellum in Venetian glass mosaic easel frame, double eye portrait of  Indian saint, Amritanandamayi Ma (available for sale from my website)

Here are two examples of how an eye portrait can also become very spiritual in its tone.  I have portrayed the eyes of two Indian women saints whom I revere, Amritanandamayi Ma and Mother Meera.  These are also examples of double eye portraits, instead of a single eye.

Do you have a favorite saint whose eyes have a special significance for you?

About Eye Portraits, and Kathleen's Right Eye

Kathleen's Right Eye (in progress), 3/4" diameter, egg tempera on Kelmscott vellum

enlarged view of miniature eye portrait in progress

friend, fellow artist, and blogger, Kathleen Coy, and her husband, Jason, were kind enough to loan me this photo of them as reference for my first pair of husband & wife eye portrait miniatures

Miniature eye portraits are a charming and sentimental lost art, overdue for a revival.  It is in this spirit of revival that today I begin my newest blog, Eye Portraits in Miniature.

In the past, tiny jeweled brooches, rings, pins, and pendants were the frames for a portrait of the single eye of a secret love, the idea being that if you could only see the eye it was more anonymous---an intimate form of portrait that no one can easily identify except you and your beloved.  It is said that a former Prince of Wales kept an eye portrait of his mistress which now rests in the Victoria and Albert Museum collection.  Secret loves were often the subject of miniature eye portraits, one reason that historically they are a rare find now, but some were not only for secret loves, but for a marriage partner, or to mourn a lost loved one.  Here is an interesting article on Lovers Eyes as they are sometimes also called.  

Above is my own portrait of friend, fellow artist, and blogger Kathleen Coy's right eye in progress.  I'll be showing it once more in it's final form along with my portrait of her husband's (Jason's) left eye in a future post.