Entries by Alan Ray

“The Reader” Will Go To California

A year ago I was admitted to a group of realist painters that I admire, the International Guild of Realism (a.k.a IGOR). This spring, I decided to enter the 12th Annual Juried Exhibition for the first time. IGOR just notified me that my entry, “The Reader”, has been accepted. The exhibition to be held at the Winfield Gallery in Carmel, CA, September 23 to October 23, 2017.

First Four Figures Completed

First Four Figures Completed — March 28, 2017. This post is an update to my posting last month on my “Vermeer” Figure Series.
I’ve now finished the fourth in the series and will be exhibiting them in two weeks at the Arts in the Credit show in Port Credit, Ontario. All four are 16″ x 12″, oil on panel. I’m looking forward to varnishing them later and placing them in good Fotiou frames. I’ve set up a small gallery here to showcase the finished pieces: “Reader”, “Egg”, “Scroll”, and “Message”. The final photo shows me posing next to “Message” yesterday to help convey its size.

Two small standing figures

I recently completed two small male figure studies. The first is “Still Sanding”, 12″ x 9″, oil on panel. My reference was an early 20th century Russian graphite drawing I found online (artist not known to me, yet). I was trying to recreate it in colour with two new pigments I’m trying out: a green umber from Rublev and a red ochre from Old Holland. It’s never ideal to use someone else’s life drawing as a source–I felt like I was inheriting the original artist’s choices, both good and bad–but it was a worthwhile colour exercise nonetheless. The second study is “Cool Figure Study, after Angel”, 12″ x 9″, oil on panel. This is my second copy of John Michel Angel’s much larger male figure study from life. My first one, “Warm Figure Study, after Angel”, is in my Figures portfolio on this site. I rarely paint anything twice but started both studies 3 years ago as an exercise in setting up warm vs. cool palettes for skin tones and backgrounds. It was a good colour exercise, but modelling the smaller forms proved far too difficult — especially fingers and toes. I’m pleased to report that both paintings have now been sold to a collector in New York state.

New Figure Series a Homage to Vermeer

I’ve been working on a series of small figure paintings, each one 16″ x 12″ and depicting the same model. The subject is a friend and neighbour of ours who posed for me last September. The late afternoon sun was streaming in through our patio doors creating a lighting effect that I was eager to take advantage of while it lasted. The resulting compositions remind me of what Vermeer achieved in his most famous works: a quiet private atmosphere with a sense of mystery and intrigue. Sometimes the figure gazes at the viewer directly, inviting a response, but more often he’s engaged in his own affairs.