Portrait Projects

Portrait of Grand Rapids Bishop

Bishop of Grand Rapids Commission

Below is the finished portrait of Bishop Hurley of Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He was an excellent sitter and was very gracious to come for 4 sittings so that I could paint the gesture and his face from life, and get good color notes on his clothes.

I kind of like this photo because it shows the amount of warmth and color in the middle values of the painting a little better than the more formal photo of it.  I'll try to get another image once it's in it's beautiful frame in a few weeks.

Finished painting of Bishop Hurley- right before delivery

Bishop Hurley finished with a portrait sitting

This second image shows the fourth sitting.  I asked to photograph the bishop full length because I was missing a reference for the bottom hem of his white vestment.  At this point I had added in a drapery in the background looking for a "naturalistic" way to work in the family crest in the upper left corner of the painting.  In the end it seemed too distracting and looked like Bishop was leaning away from the cloth so I took it out and the painting came together beautifully.

An image I looked at for ideas on portraits of bishops with family crests

Close-up of Bishop's face. The light didn't go into the eyes until the very end.  I had a hard time breaking eye contact with "him" after I knew that I had gotten it right!

Close-up of the sleeve and cross.  I'm using calcium carbonate to build up sleeve texture.

Close-up of lap and hand.  This pic is missing a bit of warmth in the fleshtones, oh well.

Thank you, Bishop Hurley and the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids, for permission to share these images of our portrait project.

On the easel- May 2011

Hello!  I've fallen behind on posting here....keeping up with technology takes a lot of time!  I'm learning how to get newsletters running and e-posts of new work.  Somehow I manage to paint, teach, and raise a family, too!  Here is a pic of me working on a self-portrait.  I really couldn't paint sight-size on this one because of the easel feet hitting each other and the way the light was coming in and lighting (or not) my painting enough.

"Forsythia" 16x12 oil on panel
Self-portrait about halfway through


Works lined up for summertime showing.  I love seeing a wall of them at a time.  It seems so seldom that I amass any amount of them and get to see them as a group.


Self-portrait finished.  I'm wearing my favorite short-sleeved sweater and my Zecchi's painting apron.