December 31, 2011

HHG Mug Shot #6 - 'The Kid'

"Sherrie 'The Kid' Hilliard, known as the kid because she specializes in painting children. She scours beaches and playgrounds looking for innocent little ones to shoot. Parents be on the lookout for Sherrie, The Kid...she will shoot your kids then immortalize them on canvas...they may even end up in a gallery. She drove off Hilton Head Island with enough material to keep her busy for months. She is probably holed up in a secret hideout....painting, painting, painting..."

Sherrie 'The Kid' Hilliard - MS007
Oil, 4'' x 4''

I wouldn't have thought that just ten days of not painting would make getting back to it so hard! I was really looking forward to painting this beautiful lady, but it was a struggle.

So I feel like I should add some 'bonus info': There's a great blog called 'Gurney Journey' by James Gurney, illustrator and creator of Dinotopia. The blog is absolutely a must-read (that's why I have it listed in my blog-roll). Two days ago he published a post called 'Softness in Eyes' -  go and read it!

AND of course I want to wish everybody a wonderful, happy and exciting New Year! One of my highlights in 2011 has to be my trip to Hilton Head Island and taking a class with the amazing Karin Jurick. And of course getting to meet a bunch of wonderful ladies, the Hilton Head Gang. Thanks to all the ladies for the great experience and the continued friendship - here's to meeting again!

December 28, 2011

Ms P. takes a Stroll in the Park

I didn't get to paint in the last week, and did enjoy the Christmas days instead. Hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing and peaceful Holiday Season as well!

So I thought I'd show you what kind of painting I do apart from the figurative small oil paintings I've posted on the blog so far.

Ms P. takes a Stroll in the Park
Acrylic, 40'' x 40''

This painting is quite big (40'' x 40'') and definitely abstract, and I was thinking about a title for a looooong time. I came up with a title that is hopefully as abstract as the painting... and will keep people wondering what it's supposed to mean...


Here's the painting hanging in my living room...slightly darker photo, but you can see the size of it...

December 19, 2011

Charleston Last Light

Just what the title says - I crossed the road and was struck by the wonderful warm light breaking through the clouds.

Charleston Last Light
Oil, 8'' x 8''

We've had snow today and it's all christmassy, but I bet it's still nice and warm in Charleston...

December 13, 2011

HHG Mug Shot #5 - 'MacGrins'

"Kelley 'MacGrins' MacDonald is the next notorious member to be sought. You may think her smiling face is harmless... until you see your smiling mug on one of her blogs. She waltzes in to a room, a beach or an event, smiling and acting all “I’m your friend” and then shoots at will. She doesn’t leave until she has captured every available smile. When ready to leave the island... Suspiciously... her little red sports car was missing... she left Hilton Head in a newly acquired Jag shouting “Girls Just Wanna Paint!” She drove up the coast stopping along the way to visit accomplices. She has hideouts everywhere. Beware the smile..."
Maria Hock, fellow member of the HHG

Kelley 'MacGrins' MacDonald - MS006
Oil, 4'' x 4''

Sooo... again, I've really tried to get the 'gangster vibes' here, but either I'm just too nice to paint dark characters (could be) or I just remember Kelley and had a really hard time not to paint her sparkly and open self (more like it!).

Well, I definitely enjoyed painting yet another mug shot. And I had a long chat with my dear friend in the UK and she told me that there's at least one 'mug shot lady' she wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley at night - so at least I'm not totally off with the mug shots.
And no, I won't tell you which lady she was talking about.....!

December 10, 2011

A picture a day....

No painting today, but something I thought might be interesting to all my 'fellow muggers'.
I came accross a YouTube video that's actually been posted in 2006, but you might not have seen it yet. This guy Noah has been taking a photo of himself every day for 6 years and put them together in a time-laps movie. I think it's just mesmerizing seeing this guy look at you for six years (so to say), and time just swirling by behind him. And of course beautiful music to go with it.
The movie is over five minutes long, but it's worth taking the time and watching it and observing the sometimes subtle changes in his expression...

December 6, 2011

HHG Mug Shot #4 - 'J.Lo'

"Jennifer 'J.Lo' Koach is the subject of this weeks search.  Her uncanny resemblance to ... well,  you know who...allows her to weasel herself into otherwise unavailable venues.  Before her true identity is revealed she assimilates herself into the situation and shoots at will.   Jlo charms and disarms her victims.  By the time they realize what is is too late...they are photographed and the subject of a painting.

She left Hilton Head Island surrounded by her entourage...She is definitely NOT 'just Jenny from the block'..."
Maria Hock, fellow member of the HHG

Jennifer 'J.Lo' Koach  - MS005
Oil, 4'' x 4''

It was soooo much fun painting Jennifer's mug shot - though for at least 80% of the time I was absolutely sure I'd have to wipe everything off and start again. Why? I painted on a bright cad red board. Fitting for 'J.Lo', but so confusing at times! And then suddenly I did something 'right' and everything fell into place.
And of course the profile shot was a first as well...

December 3, 2011

Mug Shot #1

This guy is not a member of the Hilton Head Group, but he started my series of mug shots. And I painted him in my Hilton Head workshop with Karin, so I guess the ladies won't complain if I sneek him in here...?

Mug Shot #1 - MS001
Oil, 4'' x 4''

The next Hilton Head Gang mug shot will be up soon, probably Tuesday. I recieved the gessobords I ordered this week, so I'm ready to go. It's just such a pity I can't get them here in Switzerland... I will continue to order them online, though I have to pay almost twice as much for postage and taxes than for the boards themselves.
I guess I have to fly over to the States with two empty suitcases and fill them up with gessobords... ;-)

December 1, 2011


A lady at the beach on Hilton Head Island, totally absorbed by her book. A complex detective story or a kitschy romance?

Oil, 10'' x 8'

This is the first paiting I did at home from photos I took on Hilton Head - and though I enjoyed it and it brougth back nice memories, I missed the 'workshop feeling' from last month.

November 28, 2011

HHG Mug Shot #3 - The 'Joker'

"Week three and we are looking for Linda “the Joker” Popple. Linda disarms her victims with humor and then shoots with reckless abandon.   Yes, Linda thinks she is funny...but her crimes are very serious.  Please be careful when confronting her. 

Linda was last seen driving off Hilton Head Island wearing a teal sweatshirt and a blue baseball cap driving a red convertible sports car... She was laughing and shaking her camera at the wind.  Authorities followed her until she left them in the dust..."
Maria Hock, fellow member of the HHG

Linda  'Jocker' Popple - MS004
Oil, 4'' x 4''

Looking at the serious mug above it just seems wrong - Linda is always laughing, telling stories and entertaining the whole group (and the rest of the restaurant!). But she also is a key member of the Hilton Head Gang, and as such always armed and ready to shoot!

November 25, 2011

DIY - Wet Canvas Carrier for my Mug Shots

No painting in this post, but something that should be really useful for our mug shot challenge: a litte canvas carrier for those tiny 4" by 4" boards - both for transporting the wet ones and as a storage for the dry boards.

I built it out of some kind of foamy board I came across at a craft supply store, it's very light, 1/4 inch thick and can easily be cut with a knife and glued or taped together. The little 'bars' that hold the boards apart are also cut from the same foamboard, wrapped with tape to make sure they would not leave any 'crumbles' on the paintings.
As you can see the box does have a lid, but I haven't decided on a way to secure it closed - I might just use some rubber band, that'll do nicely.

The finished box actually feels more sturdy and robust than I expected. I might even cover it with adhesive foil to make sure it doesn't melt if it gets wet, but then again it's small enough to just put in a plastic bag if needed.

The box will hold ten boards, so I might have to make a second one later on - I must say I'm quite proud of the little thing, though there's still room for improvements ... ;-)

November 22, 2011

Babyface - another Hilton Head Gang mug shot

"The second member of the Hilton Head Gang is Regula 'Babyface' Scheifele. Don't let her youthful appearance fool you..... she is as devious as the rest of the gang when it comes to shooting covertly and then leaving the scene of the crime.

After terrorizing the island shooting her way through beaches and galleries, she escaped to the back roads of North Carolina. She was last seen boarding a plane to Europe... her current whereabouts unknown."
Maria Hock, fellow member of the HHG

Regula 'Babyface' Scheifele - MS003
Oil, 4'' x 4''

Ok, I confess - the above mentioned gang member would be me. Though I would not recommend you calling me 'babyface' to my... well... face! ;-)

As to my whereabouts: no comment. But you DO all know that Switzerland is proud of its political neutrality?

Regarding the little painting above: I really didn't look forward to painting my mug, but it turned out to be really fun. Again - this mug shot challenge is just great! Go and check out the blogs of my fellow HHG members.

November 17, 2011

Workshop with Karin Jurick on Hilton Head Island

As you know by now I spent a week on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, painting with Karin Jurick and a bunch of great, talented and more importantly fun ladies. I can't rave enough about the great time I had!

'A Perfect Moment'
Oil, 8'' x 10''
On the first day Karin talked about her approach to painting, materials, taking pictures - and turning 'so-so photos' into great paintings. A real eye-opener! So was the demo she did for us, using her own reference photo taken on Hilton Head.
I always enjoy watching a painting demo, I feel like I learn so much by watching a magician like Karin paint. So when on the second day we were using the same reference to do our own version, it felt so much more relaxed than just jumping into cold waters with my own photos.
My painting 'A Perfect Moment' mirrors this feeling.

'Wave Gazing'
Oil, 8'' x 8''
I painted this next piece from a reference photo I had taken just the day before. This little girl had been running around on the beach, and then - for half a minute - she stood still, gazing at the waves. And then the moment was gone and she was off to chase after those funny seagulls...

More on the workshop and more paintings in my next post.

November 15, 2011

Wanted: the notorious Hilton Head Gang (HHG)

An international search warrant has been issued today by Detective Maria Hock:
"On October 31st, 2011, disaster struck the tiny island of Hilton Head, South Carolina. Twenty-one notorious characters descended upon Hilton Head and went wild shooting everything in sight.

The purpose of this challenge is to reveal the identities of the Hilton Head Gang by painting their portraits. The first mug to be painted is the leader of this notorious gang - Karin 'Quickdraw' Jurick. Karin can visit a beach and shoot everyone in sight before they even know she is there. Her covert activity is known worldwide."

Even though I've just arrived home from my trip to the US I feel it is my duty to participate in this search operation by posting my mug shot of Karin 'Quickdraw' Jurick. And I can personally attest her being know worldwide - even the Swiss join forces to apprehend this notorious lady!

Karin 'Quickdraw' Jurick - MS002
4 x 4''

Note: as the members of the Hilton Head Gang (HHG) are on our most wanted list, I will be posting one member's mugshot each week - stay tuned! Also, visit the blogs in my blogroll to see more mugshots of the 'gangster' of the week as my fellow-painters from the workshop will post their interpretations!

November 12, 2011

Hilton Head Island, SC

I just returned from two weeks in the south of the USA, mainly South Carolina. For one week I stayed on Hilton Head Island where I was fortunate to attend a painting workshop with Karin Jurick. Lucky me!

I'll post about the workshop soon, but first some photos I took with my wonderful new camera, the Canon Powershot SX40...

... a kindred soul watching the sunrise...
a cute doggie enjoying the walk

Are you looking at me...?
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