I’m delighted to share that Petunia Tea I has been juried into Los Gatos Art Association‘s Greater Bay Area Open by George Rivera! It opens at New Museum Los Gatos tonight from 6-8 pm and will run until August 19.
I couldn’t resist getting a shot of the Petunia Teacup paintings together on a yellow wall before they were split up! I’ll be bringing Petunia Tea II into Gallery 24 with a number of other Birds and Teacup paintings next week.
Was there a particular Birds and Teacups painting you’d like to have as a card?
Let me know if you’re interested as I’m putting through an order in the next few days… I’ll be donating $1 per card to the YWCA Silicon Valley as part of the womanKIND exhibition, a Coles / Drews Watkins project running December 16-19 at The Citadel Gallery, 199 Martha street in San Jose. I will have a selection of cards available for purchase at the reception, Saturday, December 17 from 6-9 pm and will reserve cards or mail them out upon request.
These are folded cards, printed on premium paper stock with a matte finish and an accompanying envelope in a cellophane sleeve. 5″x 5″ cards are $5 and the 5″x7″cards are $6.
The titles are up on my website, check older entries to find them all:http://mariecameronstudio.com/category/portfolio/fauna/
I just put up Lilac Tea I on my portfolio and soon it will be exhibited in womanKIND, A Cole / Drews Project supporting the YWCA of Silicon Valley at The Citadel Gallery from December 16-19 with a reception Saturday, December 17 from 6-9.
The lilac symbolizes the first emotions of love in the Victorian language of flowers, I paired this flower with an Anna’s Hummingbird and an antique Bavarian J &C teacup called “Louise” (my middle name).
I just listed Magnolia Tea II on the website and will be bringing it into Gallery 25 with a flock of other Birds and Teacups. In this painting, I tried to bring home some of the magic of spotting a white hummingbird in the wild to capture it in a domestic still life with this unusual, unpainted Limoges demitasse set and Magnolia Grandiflora bloom which represents nobility and perseverance in the Victorian language of flowers.
I love how these paintings come together, often the teacup is the inspirational launching point, but this time I had spotted a Townsend’s Warbler in my neighbor’s camellias and while photographing it (such a shy bird) I began to imagine what flower might suit its sweet masked face… and knew right away that it had to be the black and yellow striped petunia which I picked up in one of my local nurseries, and finding a matching teacup turned to be a cinch on ebay – a Royal Standard bone china classic from England! When I discovered the Victorian meaning of the petunia was “your presence soothes me”, I thought of the mourning jewelry I’ve been quietly obsessed with as of late and included a braided hair locket in my vignette. Of course, it wasn’t complete until I had a backdrop worked out and my yellow cotton dress with black and white feather embroidery seemed perfect. I’ve framed the painting in a sculptural, undulating black frame with a rich patina. I liked this combination so much, I went on to paint a matching Petunia Tea II with a gold locket.
Both of these paintings were just listed on my website and I will be taking them into Gallery 24 in Los Gatos, California this Friday along with a flock which includes a Steller’s Jay, a White Anna’s Hummingbird and a House Finch, which I’ll be posting, post haste!
Starting work on a new painting today, Anemone Tea is the latest in my Birds and Teacups series. I’ve paired a Steller’s Jay with an antique blue flow Chen-Si handle-less teacup and saucer and deep purple-blue anenomes, signifying forsaken love.
Sketching my subjet with thinned oils onto primed board.
Sketching in the background drawn drom design elements in the teacup and saucer.
Blocking in background tones.
Flushing out my bird.
Arranging my flowers and filling out my cup and sauser, staying loose.
Working lights and darks.
Still working it…
Detail in the sinking sun.
So happy to get to my first painting of the white hummingbird I had so gleefully stalked with my telephoto at the Arboretum in Santa Cruz a few months back. I have lots of plans for all photos I took of him but I wanted to start with something for my Birds & Teacups series. I paired him with a white Limogues T&V demitasse, which is a delicate and glowing as the bird, and a magnolia grandiflora bloom. If I’s wanted to be matchy-matchy I might have painted whit ivy, which seems to be depicts on the handle of the demitasse, but there’s enough magic and mystery going on in this image and I really loved the the scale of the flower compared to the bird and the cup.
Quick oil sketch in rose and vilolet tones.
Blocked in a whole lot of loose color, working largely dark to light.
Placing more halftones and highlights.
Good day’s work but I ran out of daylight and objectivity. By Monday I should have more of both!
Oh my, sometimes I can paralyze myself with possibility!
I love how these antique, eggshell thin, hand-painted teacups marked Germany and Nippon photographed in the early morning light with their requisite bouquet of freshly cut poppies! I better just pick a bird or two and get on with it … Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird? The poppy speaks of oblivion in the Victorian language of flowers, I wonder how I will bring that into a Birds and Teacups piece?
Your presence soothes me, that’s what the the petunia signifies in the Victorian language of flowers. However, it wasn’t the flower or teacup that was the source to this soon to be Birds and Teacup painting, it was the shy Townsend’s Warbler with its little black and yellow striped face that inspired me to pull together a vignette it could hide in.
The Art Docents of Los Gatos hosted a fabulous High Tea fundraiser at my home and studio yesterday. This dynamic group (that brings art to our public school) keep themselves well informed by taking in all kinds of exhibitions, documentaries and artist talks. I was absolutely delighted when they approached me with the idea of throwing a catered High Tea here, using the very antique teacups that I use in my Birds and Teacup paintings. The idea was brilliant and I jumped at the opportunity to share my work with such an informed audience! Such a nice way to support this organization which does really valuable work with our children.
Karen and Elizabeth thoughtfully paired freshly cut flowers with the vintage cups!
The table-scapes looked beautiful, each setting uniquely individual.
The High Tea was sold out and as the catered food was plated and the tea prepared I gave a guided tour through my studio to the assembled quests.
In the studio I spoke of my series, Critical Masses – stories of us and them, relating the stories behind the work, my process and inspiration.
Here I described how the red dots on the vintage mother of pearl fishing lures are meant to imitate a wound and signifying easy prey to hungry fish. These lures served as my models for Lure, and led to the red dot in the middle of the painting.
I was also able to share the story behind End of Spring and how it came to be the cover art for Christy Ann Conlin’s new novel, The Memento.
In the house we talked about my Birds and Teacup Series and discussed how they were inspired by the desire to create synchronistic moments where the image on the antique porcelain is reiterated in the bouquet made for the cup. The unlikely introduction of a wild bird into the setting serves to further increase the magic, presenting a puzzle for the brain to figure out.
Sharing one of my all time favorite teacups – an eggshell thin, hand painted Japanese piece from the 1800’s. The painting of the flower, butterflies and and basket design is so finely skilled that it really should be in a museum somewhere! I forgot to tell how I’d used this cup in a dramatic photo shoot with a live black widow. (Birds won’t co-operate in these shoots and have to be shot separately an imported into my teacup arrangements through photoshop but the spiders will model for a while).
I gave a peek into what’s behind my Florilegia series (quite literally) – a generally illuminating and playful take on the Victorian meaning of flowers thorough mixed media assemblage paintings inset with antique Magic Lantern Slides.
The dining room served as my portrait gallery where I had many of my People In My Neighborhood series on display. I spoke of the intimacy that the direct gaze establishes in our often impersonal public life and how it turns out that our community is rife with models!
We had just a few more moments to talk about portraits I’ve done of my children, using moments from their life as the spring board for art.
Meanwhile everything in the kitchen, (pomegranate, pear and field green salad, savory finger sandwiches and tempting sweets) was ready to be served…
…oh yes, and lots of tea!
Sue Ward making magic in the kitchen!
So happy to see guests enjoying themselves.
We couldn’t have asked for a nicer day, better company or a more perfect tea!
Thanking our guests for coming as they depart.
High Tea wrap up in the shade.
View from the hammock – post tea.
Last of the clean up crew – xo!
Thanks to everyone at the Art Docents who worked so hard to make this event such a success, with a special shout out to Elizabeth Greer, Sue Ward, Sue Nystrom Walsh and Karen Harlan.
Thanks to my collectors, Marie Hetherington and Shanna Desai for allowing me to borrow back pieces for this special event.
Thanks as well to artist Holly Van Hart for the lion’s share of these photos!
Finally, thanks to everyone who came and helped to make this such memorable day!
This is will be so much fun ….the Art Docents of Los Gatos will be hosting a High Tea at my studio May 10 to raise money for all the great work they do bringing art to our students! This catered event will include an artist’s talk in which I will focus on my Birds and Teacups series – my process and my motivation. Tea will be served in the antique teacups that inspire my paintings!