An update on my paintings and sculptures

As Spring approaches……

By | March 19, 2017

I am busy trying to finish the three children I am doing for the Rowands, #3, #4, and $6 of their grandchildren.  I will have to show them next month.

This month I am showing you a drawing I did of my grandkids for our annual Christmas card (46 years of them).  It will most likely be the last of these as they are growing up too much to do “cute” things anymore.  I will probably do something, but not so complicated. The effort to get them drawn, put together and mailed (along with a newsletter) just before Christmas is getting to be too much as I get older and slower.  But it has been fun and I know I will miss doing them each year, starting with the kid’s Dad when he was little and then both of  them from babyhood.  It is nice to have a yearly picture of them altho no one has a wall that big.

Elizabeth, 12, and Brady, 9

Elizabeth, 12, and Brady, 9

This is a drawing with pastel color on the figures. It is fun to see how much I can convey with the least drawing in light and shadow to define them.  My pastels lately have developed in a much more layered process to catch warm and cool air and shadows as I have been doing on the three children.  I think after my next project I will go back to oil for a bit.  I used to do a lot of it but got hooked into exploring pastel when John was little.  He could eat pastels and they would not hurt him the way oil paint or turpentine would.  I could also stand up and leave it overnight without having to do major clean-up, etc.  Pastel is much softer for children too.

See you next month!

I am back!!!

By | February 5, 2017

I am even surprising myself…getting back to writing this within a few weeks.  However I wanted to catch you up to my current project, three children out of six grandchildren belonging to Judi and Gordon Rowand.  Thirty years ago I did pastels of their children, Geoff and Kristen.  Now I am doing their children.  A few years ago I did the first two, pictured below, Liam and Kyla Welsh, children of Jamie and Kristen Welsh.  They had another baby, Evie, who is now ready to be done.  The twin daughters of Geoff and Megan Rowand, Elsa and Erin are the same age but they have a new little brother who will have to wait a few years.

I will be bringing the three new ones when they are finished in a few weeks.

Liam Welsh

Liam Welsh

Kyla Welsh

Kyla Welsh

I am sorry to have missed a few months (years)…………

By | January 10, 2017

I have determined to catch up with my conversation with you about what I have been doing in the time since I stopped writing this blog.  I certainly have been working at being an artist so it is time to bring you up to date.  Time flies when you are having a good time…but it runs out from under me.  I work best with deadlines hanging over my head so whatever doesn’t have one gets neglected.  My resolution for 2017 is to make this blog one of those hanging over my head reminding me not to forget it.  Welcome back!

This is a pastel,”Angel Watch”, of my granddaughter Elizabeth when she was small.  The kitty was given to her before she was born and shows the years of being slept on since then.  The painting has just returned from the 119th annual juried show of the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club at the National Arts Club in mid-town Manhattan, NYC.  It is always a thrill to get work accepted into a Major Show as it is a stamp of approval for its quality among all entries.  I have been accepted as a full member of CLWAC this past year based on the number of  times I have had work accepted in their shows.

AngelWatch

I meant to add this….

By | March 9, 2014

In the following update of my work, I have neglected to add  that I was invited to put two sculptures in the Changing Seasons Gallery in Sonoma, California.  It is right in the center of the wine country so may make visits there very inviting. 

The owner, Ingrid Martinez, has been warm and great to work with.  She has a 26 inch “Fireflies Too”, the girl of the pair of “Fireflies”.  She also has the little ballet dancer called “Dress Rehearsal.”  I look forward to a long relationship.

The Gallery’s address is 103 West Napa.

Welcome back!

By | February 2, 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014        

Hello again! It has been too long.  I have been taken up with re-collecting all your e-mail addresses to send this to.  I have a lot of projects churning around in my head but plan to be better about getting this together.

Below are completed projects last year.  I will be adding more as new ones get finished and events unfold.  2014 is already full. I intend to learn a lot.

 

2013 Shows and Awards

In the past year I have had three pieces accepted in major New York Juried shows, “Family Keepers” in the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe 116th Annual, “Dress Rehearsal” in the American Artists Professional League’s 84th Annual and their Membership Show which was held in Greenwich Village. They sent me a photo of my sculpture  there.  It was a thrill to have visual proof.

I was invited to be a Fellow of the AAPL because of my record with them. In 2007 I had won their Art Spirit Gold Medal for Pastel, plus other awards over the years.

The Last Maxwell

Emma

This piece is an oil portrait of the seventh and last granddaughter of Gary and Pat Maxwell, Emma.  You can see the other six in my posts below.  It was a fun one to do as the background of Manito Park presented some interesting color, light and shadow.  She was a beautiful girl though, which is always inspiring.   I am sorry there are not more coming up! The best part of portraiture is the people I get a chance to know.  Gary and Pat are two of those .  I hate to have the project end.  It has spanned ten years. And I love knowing where my “children” are and that they have a good home. I do get kind of attached as I try to paint until they seem to talk to me.

Liam

Kyla

Liam and Kyla Welsh

27 years ago I did pastels of the two children of Gordon and Judy Rowand.  This year they asked me if I would do all five of the grandkids although three are still babies.  These are the first two, Kyla and Liam Welsh, children of Kristen and Jamie Welsh.  I drew their mother at almost this same age.  The eyes are the same, which is fun to discover as I work. The next one is the little sister of these two and then their Uncle Geoff’s twins who are still smaller.  None have enough hair yet. 

 

 

 

There were a couple of other drawings of my own grandchildren, Elizabeth and Brady, long overdue as gifts to their parents, John and Shannon.

Elizabeth starts her life on Dad’s chest

  1.     
  1. These were photos I had had for a long time, always intending to do something with them to keep the memories.  There are so many things I wish I could capture of them that I will never get through the file.  It is hard to see them grow out of these fun stages.  I am sure it is like this with all grandparents.  They tell me that all the time.  I think when you are the parents you are too busy keeping up with everything to realize it.

The Big Bed

                 

 

After Her Dance

This is a pastel drawing done of Elizabeth, who posed for me.  She was most unsure about it because she did not know the “moves” of the dancer…but this was not a difficult pose to hold.  I was sorry to see her grow out of this fresh and wide-eyed stage.

Elizabeth and Brady

           

This is a project started a couple of years ago as a present to ourselves, our two grandkids  before they grew up anymore,.. of Elizabeth reading and Brady about to drop a snake (in his hand behind his back) on her book.  I have worked on it at demos at the Painters Chair Gallery during Art Walks in Coeur d ‘Alene, Idaho, for two summers now. I need to take time to finish it and get it cast.  The kids used to love to “work on it” when it was in the early stages so feel it is “their” sculpture.  Brady thinks I should somehow wire his arm so that it can move up and drop the snake, somewhat like the old iron banks. I am trying to think if that is possible without making it look like a toy.

Porcelain Sculpture

Two sculptures that I tried last year but haven’t shown you are in porcelain.  I thought that would be an easier material to capture likeness of children than the dark bronze…but I was wrong.  I missed the color..of the skin and the dark hair and eyes.  The small one was the trial run (“Flowergirl”) and a remembrance for Elizabeth of a wedding that she was in.  The larger one is a portrait of her which proved to me the difficulty of getting the shapes exact enough to truly be happy with the likeness…and the life.  She has big brown eyes and dark hair.  I was lucky to find a man in Texas, Rick Van Hellen, who made a plaster mold for me from my clay model, and then a lovely lady here in Spokane, Wanda Carson, who was willing to tackle pouring, firing and finishing the porcelain.  It is tricky, very fragile, and takes more patience than I have.  A friend, Terry Mazzie, made the bases out of walnut from a tree he cut down and is using in his woodwork.  It sure helps to have friends!

Flowergirl

   

 

 

Elizabeth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to 2013!

By | January 8, 2013

 

Happy Spring at last!

At least I hope that it is almost here. We could use some.

I will have to quickly bring you up to date as my posts below of the Museum Auction were last Spring (2012).  In the meantime my e-mail was hacked and my entire address book and 1 1/2 years worth of e-mails were totally deleted.  So I have been slowly digging all that up and restoring it so I could do this blog in earnest.

Museum Auction 2012"The Way Home"

I had two pieces in the 2012 Auction for the benefit of the Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC). The one pictured  was in the Main Auction and is called “The Way Home”. It is an oil painting of my two grandchildren walking up our road in the late afternoon in Fall when the surrounding trees are glowing with color and the shadows are rich and deep…and we remind ourselves this is why we live here. We have been here for 40 years and have loved it since we moved here. We are surrounded by deer and moose and all the little animals that are fun…. but eat everything. It is sort of a love/hate relationship I guess. We are on the side of a mountain at the edge of the Valley so we have a little more snow but the views are beautiful.

Afternoon at the Beach

Summer Afternoon at the Beach
version 1

Another which I was finishing in the “Quick Finish” portion there is called “Summer Afternoon at the Lake.” It was finished while the guests are watching, which provides an interesting chance for them to see how paintings happen. This was finished there but it had to be started pretty far ahead because it is layered with many glazes to convey the wateriness of it. Paintings never come quickly to me so I need lead time..and thinking time. I also tend to talk  while demonstrating.

 

Linda Barnes, the lady that bought it loved it because it reminded her of her grandchildren at Priest Lake. However in talking afterward she said she had two more grandchildren. We decided to add them plus her dog who was usually there with them. I think it might even have improved the composition.  She was thrilled.  I love to do things that mean that much to someone.  Her grandchildren are scattered all over the world but do come to spend time in the summer  the lake.

Sadly Linda passed away some months after we finalized this.  Her family will have this to remember what was important to her.

"Afternoon at the Lake"          2nd version

“Afternoon at the Lake”
2nd version

 

March News and Notes

By | March 26, 2012

The Rivard girls, Anna, Sarah, Ellie and Julie

Welcome back! The month of March is nearly gone already! I am sorry to be so late this month but it has been a busy one. I did want to show you, though, my latest portrait of the four Rivard granddaughters of Gary and Pat Maxwell. They are pictured on the beach of the Maxwell’s home on the edge of Lake Pend Oreille in Sandpoint, Idaho. They spent many hours there while growing up. It was a fun painting to do, as well as a challenge.

 

Katie and Trisha Covin

 
Ten years ago I painted their first two grandchildren at their piano music. A interesting addition was the painting in the background depicting their mother playing the same piano. It was set against the wallpaper that was actually on the wall where it was hung.

Both were interesting and challenging paintings to do and I am grateful to the Maxwells for giving me a chance to do them.

February 2012 News and Notes

By | February 19, 2012

This was a painting not exhibited much. It was a neat experience in the difficulties of light control and the warms and cools that causes on the skin, my favorite thing to do. It was accepted and exhibited at Catherine Lorillard Wolfe 114th Annual Exhibition held in New York City in 2010.

Welcome back! This is February and I promised to be here sooner, but we spent two weeks in California and Arizona so I have not had a chance to get here till now. I do want to bring you up to date to this year, so have included two paintings not yet shown much. The first is “Lamplight” a pastel that illustrates warm and cool light, my favorite thing to play with. Skin tones get so much richer when those elements are part of it. Everything else does too.

 

This pastel was done for my show down home. It depicts toys from three generations that were too precious not to keep. (Prints available)

“Family Keepers”, things too precious not to keep from three generations of the family, make a meaningful pastel to tell the story. The quilt was made for me by my grandmother and used for my son and grandchildren. The porcelain doll was my mother’s and is dressed in a baptismal gown and bonnet handmade by my grandmother. The stuffed toy was my husband’s and of course the truck and beaten-up Teddy bear were our son John’s. It was an idea in the back of my head since I found the doll in pieces in a box where she had been for 50 years and had her restored . She had been like that for all those years as my mother never did find someone to do if for her.

The portrait that I did some years ago of Marian Gallagher, the Founder of the Law Library at the University of Washington.

A good friend surprised me with a photo of the new placement of the portrait I had done some time ago of Marian Gallagher for the University of Washington’s Law Library, which she founded. The Marian Gould Gallagher Society, made up of law librarians all over the country who had been trained in her program, provided this elaborate setting near the entrance of the new Law School building. Marian pioneered the idea of a special program to educate law librarians as well as establishing the Library. It was a thrill to see it placed as her friends had intended it when they commissioned it.”

A Show Down Home

By | January 8, 2012

In September of 2011 I did a show in my home area, Uniontown/Colton, in south eastern Washington.The community has rebuilt a historical dairy barn into a wonderful community Art and Music Center called the Artisan Barn. Two other artists, both raised on nearby wheat farms too, shared the show with me, Nona Hengen of Spangle and Sherryl Evans of Ritzville. Thus we billed ourselves “Three Homegrown Artists”.

It was a great experience and a lot of fun in a beautiful venue that the community can be very proud of.


I did several pieces for the show that were of my family, especially my parents, that meant a lot to me and to the people who attended who knew them. The “Heritage of Needlework” was of my mother who was well known for her needlework and she passed it on to me in many years of sewing. Her mother was a dressmaker in the days before sewing machines so everything was really handmade. She is depicted in the background.

Two pictures were of my father, one in his field checking the crop and one leaning on his tractor enjoying the beautiful green of the Palouse hills as the crops come up. It is a well known time of year to drive down through the area and be astounded at the rolling green hills and is a favorite of photographers.

Doing the show was a very meaningful thing for me. Nona did a number of paintings of old harvest scenes and Sherryl provided her well-known watercolors of work horses.

The opening was Labor day but two weeks later we all participated in their annual Harvest Festival which featured many old-fashioned farm events from home-made ice cream to hand wrought iron tools. A collectors club brought old farm equipment and plowed a field next to the Barn. It was really a fun afternoon and brought back many memories. Some of the “old-time” things were actually of my vintage!

I wish you all the happiest of New Years!

By | January 8, 2012

Welcome to my new blog…a great way to start the year!  I will be posting my latest work here as I finish it. But first I have to post those pieces done since the last update of my web page…www.marianflahavin.com…..some time ago.  This will be a continuation of it as a way to let you see what I have done recently and will be doing…as long as I remember to keep posting.  This past year was a busy one going in many directions.  My resolution is to try to simplify my life…but then that is my resolution every year and it doesn’t last past the next idea!