I’ve always loved Art Museums and have been working at the Seattle Art Museum for 13 years. It seems as though I’ve gotten to install paintings by just about everyone that has graced an art history book with my own two hands. It’s been inspiring to see the works up close, but it’s also wonderful to work with so many other artists who help contribute insight into the work at the museum and my own artwork. It was actually a SAM exhibition that rekindled my love of Dutch still-life paintings, “European Masters: The Treasures of Seattle”.
My first year at the museum was spent just making mounts for the porcelain room. Because of my connection to SAM, including porcelains in this series feels natural. I’ve chosen to include this exquisite 16th century Jingdezhen-ware porcelain bowl from SAM’s collection. It’s perfect for the month of February. It features “three goats (yang) and the Three Friends of the Cold Season (pine, blossoming plum, and bamboo) all carrying a message of renewal appropriate to the beginning of the new year. Winter ends and spring arrives; yin is on the wane and yang is on the rise, heralding the rebirth of nature.”
I chose to make this month’s still life painting of Brussels sprouts for two reasons. I love that the vegetable is named for a city in the region where these paintings reached their maturity, and they are one of the only vegetables growing in my yard right now (the rabbits love them!).
See more Monthly Miniature paintings from this and past series in the Monthly Miniature gallery.
The paintings in my new Monthly Miniature series “In Season“, are inspired by still life paintings from Northern Europe that were at their prime from around 1600 – 1800. Each painting is influenced by a different artist from within the genre. My first painting in the series is inspired by the German artist Jacob Marrel. He primary made floral paintings and you can almost always find an insect somewhere in his work. He studied still life painting in Utrecht under Jan Davidsz. de Heem who is a major representative of that genre in both Dutch and Flemish Baroque painting. Later Jacob taught painting to his own students including his stepdaughter, Maria Sibylla Merian, who became a scientific illustrator and one of the premier entomologist (scientist who studies insects) of her time.
Paintings from this genre can get quite complicated both in composition and in subject matter. Marrel could compose an intricate composition to rival the best of them, but I was drawn his paintings with only insects and flowers. This fit the mood I was wanting for my first painting in the series. Since this series will only feature produce, flowers and insects that are in season, I wanted to start simply to demonstrate how sparse it is in winter. Look carefully at Joseph Marrel’s painting below and you will find my simplified take on his composition.
Please visit an earlier blog post for an introduction to this series. You can also find previous Monthly Miniature series by scrolling down on the Monthly Miniature page.
Jacob Marrel, “Still Life With A Yellow Iris, A Parrot Tulip, A White Rose And Insects”, oil on Canvas.
The idea for the painting “Self Portrait – Expecting” came back when I was six months pregnant with my son and most of my reference images were gathered at that time. Rabbits were a big part of my childhood and I had two rabbits that lived in my painting studio. My rabbit Eleanor, was a natural addition to the painting. Not only did she sit at my feet while I painted, her species has been seen as a symbol of fertility for more than seven-hundred years.
I didn’t start painting “Self Portrait – Expecting” until my son was two and a half and after a series of miscarriages, I had recently learned that I was pregnant again. Eleanor had passed away since the photos were taken and right in the middle of working the painting, I lost yet another pregnancy, the fourth since my son was born. The act of making this painting was such a bitter sweet experience. The painting is about fertility, yet while making it, I was experiencing so much loss. I think that some of my resolve, the strength that I had to keep up for the sake of my two-year old made its way into my expression which changed throughout the painting process. In the end, the painting has become a reminder for me to be grateful and never give up hope.
This painting is on view at Arcadia Contemporary in the group show “ARC Visions 2019“ through March 2nd 2019.
39 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91105
The family traveled with me to Barcelona for my recent exhibit “13th annual ARC Salon” at the Museu Europeu d’Art Modern (MEAM) and my Uncle Bill joined us from Ohio. My uncle bought me my very first canvas when I was in high school and was instrumental in my artistic pursuits. He took me to galleries and museums and his own collection of original art was such an inspiration for me. It means so much that still, so many years later, here he is standing by me believing in what I do. It was also great to have him with us to see the sights, meet new people and for my son to get to visit with his great uncle. My sons middle name is William, named after my Uncle Bill.
Learn more about the exhibit on my blog and see more paintings from the series, “Monthly Miniature: Into the Country” and “Into the Country (larger works)“
Earlier this month, I traveled to Barcelona to attend the 13th annual ARC Salon at the Museu Europeu d’Art Modern (MEAM). During the opening reception, they also had the official awards ceremony. Along with sever other very talented artists in the exhibit, I received my awards (Honorable mention and Arcadia Gallery Award) from Kara Ross, ARC Co-Chairman and Chief Operating Officer. The awards ceremony / opening reception was very well attended and good will and champagne flowed freely. It’s a lot of work to organize a traveling exhibition and the process couldn’t have been more seamless. The Art Renewal Center was exceptional to work with and I’m very grateful to have a painting in the exhibition. A huge thank you to collectors Steve and Carl for loaning the painting for the exhibition. And thank you Art Renewal Center and Arcadia Contemporary for the recognition and to the MEAM for being an exceptional host for the exhibit! Barcelona is a fantastic city and the MEAM is a Mecca for contemporary realism.
European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM)
February 8 – March 31, 2019
C/ Barra de Ferro 508003, Barcelona, Spain
Rebecca receiving her ARC awards from Kara Ross at the MEAM.
New works for exhibition
I have three new rabbit paintings up at Arcadia Contemporary for the Art Renewal Center “ARC Visions 2019“, a group exhibition featuring the winners of the “Arcadia Contemporary Award” from the 13th Annual International ARC Salon. It’s an impressive group of artwork by eleven different artists and I had the privilege of meeting two of the artists at the opening, and another in Barcelona a couple of weeks before. Lovely people and extremely talented and dedicated artists. Go to Artsy to see all of the artwork in the exhibition. The exhibition is up through March 2nd.
The ARC Salon is an internationally revered competition that attracts submissions from some of the finest realist painters in the world.
The Art Renewal Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational foundation championing the revival of realism in the visual arts and is devoted to furthering the realist art movement and helping talented artists with strong technical skills thrive. Arcadia Contemporary is recognized as one of the premiere showcases for those artists.
39 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91105
Return to the Wild, 30″ x 36″, oil on aluminum, contact the gallery for inquiries
Self Portrait – Expecting, 16″ x 12″, oil on aluminum, contact the gallery for inquiries
A Silent Gathering (Aspen and Hare), 6″ x 4″, oil on aluminum, contact the gallery for inquiries
A Silent Gathering (detail)
Installation at Arcadia Contemporary
After two very successful showings at the Salmagundi Club in New York City, New York this past October and then at Sotheby’s in Los Angeles, California in December, the 13th International ARC Salon Exhibition is on its way to the Museum of Modern Art (MEAM) in Barcelona, Spain. The ARC Award Ceremony and Grand Opening Ceremony will take place at 7pm on February 8th, 2019 at the MEAM (C/ Barra de Ferro 5 08003 Barcelona, Spain).
The ARC Salon will continue to be on display at the MEAM from February 8th-March 31st, 2019 with the general hours being 11am to 7pm, Tuesday through Sunday.
The competition is known for not only recognizing work by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists, but also for discovering new and upcoming talent. The 13th International ARC Salon Exhibition, consists of 89 Contemporary Realist works selected from over 3,750 entries from 69 countries.
I’ll be traveling to Barcelona for the opening with my husband and (almost) three year old son to see my painting of Admiral Vox who is keeping excellent company. Wish us luck!! And feel free to send me tips on traveling with a toddler if you have them. 🙂
Making large paintings takes me a very long time since I put so much detail into my work. Arlington took almost two years to complete with breaks in the schedule for finishing commissions and Monthly Miniature’s. The painting was exhibited Santa Fe in the 14th International Guild of Realism exhibition, hosted by Sugarman-Peterson Gallery and it has also been selected to be included in The 12th annual Collective Visions Gallery (CVG) show. This exhibit pulls together artwork made in every quarter of Washington state that exhibit the best qualities of contemporary and traditional art. The show is considered Washington’s richest juried art exhibition and is one of the biggest in the Northwest and I’m really excited to have my work included in the exhibit. 131 artists’ works were selected by Gary Faigin, co-founder and Artistic Director of the Gage Academy of Art from nearly 1,200 submissions.
The exhibit opened on Jan. 26 and it closes Feb. 23 at Collective Visions Gallery, 331 Pacific Ave., Bremerton. It’s a lovely show and great excuse to take a ferry ride over for a weekend adventure! Go to my figurative paintings gallery to see more works in the this series.
Happy New Year everyone! I’m celebrating the new year by starting a new Monthly Miniature series. For each month of 2019, I will create a miniature still-life painting in the Dutch Still-Life tradition and I hope you will enjoy following along. As a newsletter subscriber, you’ll be the first to see them, and they will be available for sale as soon as they are announced.
The Historic Still-Life tradition with a modern perspective
Still-life paintings from Northern Europe were at their prime from around 1600 – 1800 and they often feature blossoms, insects and food that could not be found out of hibernation or in season at the same time. They are constructs of seasonal impossibility, pieced together from earlier studies, signifying impermanence and the perception that earthly life is transitory.
In Season pays homage to Northern European still life, while also contrasting modern and past experiences. Expectations have changed; perennial availability is the norm now, and seasonality is hardly acknowledged. In Season features combinations of fruits, flowers and insects that occur together naturally, in appreciation of the beauty of the cyclical and ephemeral.
The first painting of “In Season” features the camellia flower and cave cricket. The camellia is one of few flowers in bloom here in January, and you may also be startled to find a cave cricket in your basement. Most insects are dormant this time of year, but these little creatures are actively scurrying around ready to frighten unsuspecting people in cool dark places.
Animals hold a special place in our hearts. If you’re looking for a gift for someone who has everything, a portrait of their dearly loved animal is bound to be something they will cherish. I recently finished this portrait painting of an American Quarter Horse and shipped it off to Tennessee. It was commissioned as a Christmas gift for a much appreciated CEO from her work colleagues.
Layer by Layer
My paintings are created with a traditional fat over lean technique to ensure that they will last for hundreds of years. By using layers and glazing, the paintings have a rich depth that you don’t get with just one layer of paint. Adding more and more oil to each additional layer helps the paintings dry more evenly and they are also much less likely to crack (even after hundreds of years!). Paintings on metal made using this technique still survive in pristine condition from the 1500’s.
Thank you to Kady and Trey who helped organized the commission! Go to my Pet Portrait commissions gallery to see more work.
She cried when we gave it to her and she was speechless. She loved it!!!!