Benefit at Norton Factory Studios Saturday, September 21st

Added on by Lara Hoke.

My studio building, Norton Factory Studios, is holding a benefit and art auction next Saturday evening, September the 21st at 6 p.m.  We are raising money to help build out a 1,220 square foot space into a classroom. There will be live music, beverages, a silent auction of over 25 pieces of art made by Norton Factory artists and friends, as well as a bunch of raffle items donated by our favorite Bay Area restaurants and makers.

Join us!

Southern Exposure's Monster Drawing Rally!

Added on by Lara Hoke.

I just found out that I've been selected to participate in Southern Exposure's annual Monster Drawing Rally on June 14th.  To my husband's disappointment, the event is not about drawing monsters. Rather, it is a live drawing and fundraising event with 120 artists working side by side on whatever topic they choose. Spectators can observe artists in the act of creation, providing the opportunity to watch a drawing come to life, and to purchase a work of art minutes after its completion. 

Water Monster, circa 1985

Back in the Studio

Added on by Lara Hoke.

It's been a crazy few weeks and I have not had the opportunity to spend time in the studio.  However, yesterday I was finally able to get some work done!  I spent about an hour working on the commissioned portrait of the girl with the butterfly.

Because the source photograph does not have a background (just darkness due to the flash), and I don't have shrubs in my studio, I've been relying on the paintings of Mary Cassatt for reference on the treatment of greenery.

Work in progress, Girl with Butterfly, Lara Hoke

Moving into a new studio!

Added on by Lara Hoke.

I am thrilled to be moving into my new studio next month at Norton Factory Studios.  The past several years I've been lucky enough to have space in our home to paint.  I'll miss the convenience of home, but won't miss some of the challenges (lighting, ventilation, cat hair...).  What I'm most excited about is the opportunity to be part of a community.  It is something I've missed dearly ever since I left Madarts Studios in Brooklyn five years ago.

It's hard to capture the beauty of the space.  It is airy and full of natural light.  Construction is not yet complete, but it will be ready for move-in on February 15th.

Portrait Study

Added on by Lara Hoke.

I'm excited to begin a new portrait commission and looking forward to the challenges it will present.  This portrait is of an adorable young girl delicately holding a butterfly on her wrist.  The image was captured by her parents while visiting the Audobon Butterfly Garden in New Orleans.

The painting will be executed in oil on panel. Below is a study for the portrait.

Lara Hoke

Study of Girl with Butterfly

More Moleskines

Added on by Lara Hoke.

In addition to studio work, I've been busy drawing in my sketchbooks.  My Several months ago I switched to the larger format Moleskine Japanese sketchbooks (5 x 8.25") from the smaller ones (3.5 x 5.5").  

I am enjoying the extra space on the page.  I think working larger has loosened my line work.  The newer sketchbooks feel freer and less conscious of the page's edge.

You can view more of these new sketchbook drawings here

Collage of studies from my sketchbook

Dabbling in Encaustic

Added on by Lara Hoke.

This past weekend I took a two-day workshop on encaustic painting at Kala with the artist and paint maker Hylla Evans.  Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated and pigmented beeswax.  

Learning a new medium and technique is both intimidating and freeing.  What I ended up creating was nothing like what I expected to create.  To learn something new is to take a risk.

 Photo collage of my encaustic paintings

Photo collage of my encaustic paintings

The paintings in my studio

Painting in-Progress: Latest Addition to the Oakland Nightscapes Series

Added on by Lara Hoke.

Below is  the latest painting in my Oakland Nightscapes series.  Unlike the previous paintings in the series, which were primarily concerned with a particular corner and storefront, this painting is of our house.

This series of paintings explores familiar places that take on a very different character after dusk.  

This painting is still in-progress though I anticipate completing it within the next week.  I apologize for the quality of the photo.  This series has been notoriously difficult to photograph.

Lara Hoke, Oakland Nightscape, in-progress

Portrait of Ben

Added on by Lara Hoke.

I am participating in a show titled "Faces" in Berkeley that opens early next month. I will be showing three pieces and--potentially--a fourth, if I can complete this portrait of Ben which I started this week. I want this painting to feel like a charcoal drawing, with the artist's hand present in the push and pull between additions and erasures.  The main image below is where the portrait is now.   The three images in the strip below are from earlier stages in the portrait's evolution.

Ben, in progress

Portrait of Ben

Added on by Lara Hoke.

I am participating in a show titled "Faces" in Berkeley that opens early next month. I will be showing three pieces and--potentially--a fourth, if I can complete this portrait of Ben which I started this week. I want this painting to feel like a charcoal drawing, with the artist's hand present in the push and pull between additions and erasures.

Transient

Making Progress Thanks to Feedback

Added on by Lara Hoke.

I meant to post this three weeks ago, but forgot...
7/20/2012
Our crit group met last night. I brought the two paintings I recently dusted off and am reworking. The experience was a reminder the feedback is invaluable.  The comments and suggestions on where to take the paintings were much appreciated.  It is easy to become blind to your work.  Critiques give you an opportunity to see your work through another's eyes.

During my critique, I was reminded to not get distracted by detail and to look at the shapes.  

I specifically asked for feedback in regards to Kim - I was concerned about how sacharine it was and wanted suggestions on how to make it less so.  One group member suggested I remove the plants and pots.  I did that first thing in the studio today.  I also am paying more attention to the angles in the painting. In Lindsey. I removed the ambiguous shape behind her head and simplified the space.

  Kim

Kim

  Kim , Detail

Kim, Detail

  Lindsey

Lindsey

  Lindsey , Detail

Lindsey, Detail