Saturday, January 31, 2015

Faces of Strength: No Stopwatch for a Mother's Love

"I Arise" © Antonia Ruppert
12x14-  Mixed Media on Panel

Does a mother’s love have a stopwatch? What about an online timer? This week while painting, I was reminded that these do not exist.  I realized for perhaps the 1000th time that a mother’s love is strong and should not stop. I’ll write more about this today and also invite you to my next group art show.

I interviewed two mom’s and worked on drawings and paintings of each for my "Faces of Strength" project.  
"I Arise" progress © Antonia Ruppert
"I Arise" progress © Antonia Ruppert

I learned and was reminded that:
  • Patience is the number one quality you need in motherhood.  (Sounds like being an artist)
  • Mother’s don’t get to whine. 
  • The best thing about being a mom is that look of love from your child.
  • Getting up at 4am daily to care for one’s family is not too early.

If you are curious about what’s on the minds of mothers and women in general, I invite you to my next group show:

Valentines Day Opening

“Women of Many Colors” Group Art show curated by Dianna Long.  

Feb. 14, 2015 (1-4pm) Art show opening reception
March 21, 2015 - last day of show. It closes at 4p.m.

1957 S. Spaulding Ave. Chicago, Il. 60623
(Chicago, Lawndale Community)

I’d love to meet you there.  I will have four paintings and a time based piece with paintings, drawings, photography, words and music. The idea that I can compile these various media to create a moving story to share fascinates me. 

Right now, there is no stopwatch for my girls.  The best thing about being a mother is the Thank You I get from my 21 year old and the hugs from my 9 year old. The best thing right now about being an artist is getting to talk about this in my work.

How does this resonate with you?  Comment below or tell me in person at the show.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Caras de la Fuerza (Faces of Strength)

©Antonia Ruppert - In progress
I am working on a new series titled "Caras de la Fuerza" (Faces of Strength). The painting shown above is from the series and is in progress. I am drawing and painting mothers in my community. This is to show the strength and beauty I see daily and build community.  I am painting these mothers by taking time to interview them briefly and draw them from life.  During this session, I will take photographs from which I will paint from. 
Of course, over coffee, we'll have discussions regarding our hopes, day to day living, motherhood and life in our community.  After completion, I will host an exhibit where all of the mothers from our various cultures can meet each other and come together. 
I am working on all new pieces with pastel, acrylic and collage. Each finished piece will be around 12x12.
I will continue to post the progress of each piece. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Becoming a Better Neighbor: Painting Joan

"Joan" © Antonia Ruppert
8x8-  Acrylic on Panel
What if I told you that you could become a better neighbor in 3 easy steps?  I hope you’d say, “Come again?” In the winter especially, being a better neighbor in 3 or 30 steps is not easy.  It involves seeing, having compassion and being willing to give of your time.

Here’s my story…

Recently, I received a call from a dear friend who asked me to check on Joan, my neighbor. What my friend was asking was for me to spend more time and call more often in this season. 

Joan - the subject of today’s painting - is my neighbor and has been since we moved over a year ago.  She is a kind-hearted person and whenever we talk on the phone she says “Have a blessed day.” 

I did not know a lot about Joan, but over time I’ve gotten to know her. She’s been to my place and I have been to hers.  When Joan and I talk, we talk about about the news, our families and sometimes we pray together. Her bible is usually near her.  

This week while visiting, the light was hitting her in such a way - I knew she would be the subject of my next painting.  I had my camera with me and took pictures of her from different angles.

I spent time painting her this week.  Though I painted daily, I did not finish it in one day.  If I would have shown you the painting the first day, it would have looked like this:

"Joan" Day 1
Here is the second day of progress:
"Joan Day 2

Today I went back to see if I’d gotten everything just so.  I found a few things to tighten up a bit.
After painting for a while, at some point, I showed it to Joan and she said, “Yep, that’s me.”

I love when paintings like this come together.  I am grateful to my dear friend who reminded me of how to be a better neighbor.  Becoming a better neighbor as well as painting this piece is not a "3 easy steps"process. But I’m glad.

Did you know I welcome commissions?  See more of my work at Fine Art America.

Friday, January 9, 2015

No More Candy

"No More Candy" © Antonia Ruppert
8x8-  Acrylic and Charcoal on Panel
So I peeked in the fridge and saw this half of an apple.  It was ready to be tossed - for real - so I decided to paint it before I did that.  Did you know that "ready to be tossed" apples are delightful to paint? There are so many tones that your eye must be sensitive to. There are grays, browns and greens that you don't see in fresh apples.

I called it "No More Candy" after a suggestion from my daughter's friend Faith. It brought a smile to my face.  FUN!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

More than Life

"More than Life" © Antonia Ruppert
6x6-  Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas
This wee painting gave me joy to paint.  At first, it looked like mush - honestly - and then it came together for me. Inch by inch.

Inching there. Thats what I'd like to think it was like.

I think thats what we're suppose to do - keep trying until things come together.  I've heard lately of my friends pursuing their New Year's resolutions - to lose weight, to get closer to their family or to go for their destiny. Maybe thats you.

Steady and sure - you'll reach your goals.

This painting is of dying flowers I almost tossed.  I call it "More than Life" because I found something uniquely lovely in them.  Still.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Still Life There!

"Still Life There" © Antonia Ruppert
9x12 -  Acrylic and Charcoal on Panel
I love when something destined for refuse gets reused.  These dried flowers I wrote about in my last post still hold beauty.  I decided to paint another painting with my hand holding the blossom from a different angle.

I'm reminded of something my friend Maritza often says, "He wastes nothing" meaning God wastes nothing.  I'm convinced our lives are like that.  We may feel washed up, tired and ready for a siesta - but there is something yet beautiful in each life experience.

Paul Manwaring talks about nothing being wasted in his blog piece "He Got You Ready, He Wastes Nothing." Its a short post but full of meaning.

Meanwhile, my piece "Still Life There" is of a flower I was ready to toss. I'm so glad I didn't.

Monday, January 5, 2015

In the Palm of My Hand

"In the Palm of My Hand" - Acrylic/Charcoal on Canvas - 8x10
Even though he is allergic to flowers, just recently my husband came home with two types of flowers for me. I felt so moved by his sacrifice.

This week I thought it was time to toss them - they were drying.  As I took a small blossom in my hand, I realized again the beauty of it. I decided to capture it before I did anything else with it.

I love the color and texture of this piece - "In the Palm of My Hand."

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Feeling the Love

"Feeling the Love" - Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas- 8x10
Sometimes you can have so much fun, you can lose track of time. I have been having fun experimenting with acrylic paint, charcoal and various mediums(paint additives).  Since the last piece was acrylic and pencil, I decided to push it a little with charcoal.

This small painting is acrylic with matte medium and charcoal.  The piece started with a bright overlay of orange and yellow - two of my favorite colors these days. Perhaps that is because of the blues and grays outside this time of year.

I started the drawing in charcoal beginning with the eyes of the figure on the right.  That part was completed first. Then I let it rest. I needed fresh eyes.

After coming back to it with afresh, I began the figure on the right and then the background. My friend Tina asked me if I ever painted in an abstract style.  Since she asked, I experimented with that too.

Sometimes the best things happen when you're just playing.  Ha! Ha!

I'm wondering what you do that feels like play? Feel free to comment below.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

With Help from Friends

With Help From Friends  - 9x12 - Acrylic/Pencil on Panel
Sometimes we are blessed with a few key people in our lives who encourage us.  Sometimes these friends walk beside us or kneel beside us holding us up.  This small painting is the image of what I see when that happens. I call it "With Help from Friends."

The piece is layered and textured with warm hues first. After that dries, then comes the drawing. This time, I created the drawing from several photographs I took. 

I like to go back into the drawing with acrylic - highlighting one area or another.  I appreciated the way this small painting came out. 

With Help from Friends -- (close up)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hope for Another Day

Acrylic and Pencil on Panel - 9x12
This painting came to me after a time of thinking about some of my friends and family.  Some are going through some tough situations.  The only thing I could do was respond by creating.

I created a drawing showing someone's head being lifted up. That prompted the painting - I loved the drawing so much.

The sun, the egg and the flowers are all symbols of new life, growth and warmth.

After priming the panel with gesso, I created a wash of yellows and reds.  Using the drawing as a guide, I recreated it on the piece after the wash dried.  Additionally, I painted the flowers and egg from life. I eventually went over the entire piece with pencil to add emphasis. 

I call it "Hope for Another Day."