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.