Introducing Virginia Woolf and Charles Dickens...My New Writers Portraits!

Here's my latest illustrations for my series, "The Writers Project". I'm having such an amazing time creating  these portraits. It gives me time to study the faces of my literary heroes. It is kind of like reconnecting with old friends.

Meet Charles...

Charles Dickens started my obsession with the Victorian Era . He showed me people and world I'd never new existed  and he did it with such compassion. Something that seems pretty rare these days. He grew up poor and spent his life trying to help those he could.

"A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to each other".
Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens in Blue by Debbie Styer 2013


Charles Dickens by Herbert Watkins, 1858


Charles is now available here in my shop!




And welcome Virginia...

Virginia Woolf has always been inspiration. Her courage and ability to speak the truth in her writing is both courageous and so sad. Virginia's writing paved a way for me find away of taking myself serious as a artist and a women. I'll always be thankful for her brilliant essay, "A Room of One's Own".
"For most of history, anonymous was a woman."
Virginia Woolf

The Sad Eyes of Virginia Woolf, by Debbie Styer 2013



This lovely Virginia Woolf print is also available in my shop.

I would love to do a bunch of these writers portraits. Who is your favorite writer? Maybe I'll paint them next...

Introducing Virginia Woolf and Charles Dickens...My New Writers Portraits!

Here's my latest illustrations for my series, "The Writers Project". I'm having such an amazing time creating  these portraits. It gives me time to study the faces of my literary heroes. It is kind of like reconnecting with old friends.

Meet Charles...

Charles Dickens started my obsession with the Victorian Era . He showed me people and world I'd never new existed  and he did it with such compassion. Something that seems pretty rare these days. He grew up poor and spent his life trying to help those he could.

"A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to each other".
Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens in Blue by Debbie Styer 2013


Charles Dickens by Herbert Watkins, 1858


Charles is now available here in my shop!




And welcome Virginia...

Virginia Woolf has always been inspiration. Her courage and ability to speak the truth in her writing is both courageous and so sad. Virginia's writing paved a way for me find away of taking myself serious as a artist and a women. I'll always be thankful for her brilliant essay, "A Room of One's Own".
"For most of history, anonymous was a woman."
Virginia Woolf

The Sad Eyes of Virginia Woolf, by Debbie Styer 2013



This lovely Virginia Woolf print is also available in my shop.

I would love to do a bunch of these writers portraits. Who is your favorite writer? Maybe I'll paint them next...

Art Hero: Amedeo Modigliani

One of my first art loves was the Italian Expressionist artist and sculpter Amedeo Clemente Modigliani. The way he painted portraits was magical to me. His art was seemingly so simple but the artist created so much emotion in each face. Modigliani's gorgeously rich color palette is incredible and I find him influencing my portraits everyday.

Just look at the way he did his eyes of his subjects. They sort of look right through you, don't you think? The sitters almost become ghosts. I love that some of his characters eyes are sometimes just blurred-out grays? So simple but so powerful.

When I paint my portraits I try to do the same thing, I focus on the eyes. Each person I paint seems to come alive when I finish the eyes..

And that little twist of the head, amazing...

Here are a few of my favorite paintings:

Seated Young Woman, 1918

The Servent Girl, 1918
Portrait of Paul Guillaume, 1916

Reclining Nude, 1917

Victoria, 1916

Jaques and Berthe Lipchitz 1916

Nude Sitting on a Divan, 1917


Madame Kisling 1917
Marie, Daughter of the People, 1918

Portrait of Jeanne Hebuterne, 1918

Dedie Hayden, 1918

Tragically, Modigliani died young at the age of 35.  He lived the prefect bohemia artist lifestyle and he influenced generations of artists through his painting style and way of life.

Modigliani in his studio
Which artist has most influenced you?

Art Heroes - Southworth & Hawes Photography

Some of the most inspiring (and oldest) photography was done by the photography firm of Southworth & Hawes  ( Albert Sands Southworth (1811–1894) and Josiah Johnson Hawes (1808–1901).  They were primary active between from 1843-1863 in Boston.

These guys really amaze me. I love the way they arrange their subjects. The sitters seem a lot more real then most of the Victorian photography I've seen before. They photographed some of the most famous people of the time including Louisa May Alcott, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Daniel Webster. But the daguerreotypes that really stand out for me are the everyday people...the "unidentified" people.

Unidentified Child, circa 1850
The Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Family, 1849

"The artist, even in photography, must go beyond discovery and the knowlege of facts; he must create and invent truths and produce new developments of facts. "
--A.S. Southworth, 1870
Death of Pain (first public administered Ether anesthesia)1847


 
Rollin Heber Neal



Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1857




Alice Mary Hawes, 1852


"Learn to look and see the difference under different lights in the same faces. Learn to see the fine points in every face, for the plainest faces in the world are human faces, belonging to human beings... "
--A. S. Southworth, 1873
Unidentified Girl with Ringlets, circa 1850's
Unidentified Woman, circa 1850
Unidentified Dead Child, Circa 1855



"In the nice production of light and shade which is the perfection of modelling, the Daguerreotype will be found to surpass the Artist's best efforts, being capable of representing independently, action, expression, and character to a great extent; and in some instances approaches very nearly, if it does not equal these higher branches, thus developing beauty in grace of motion and in repose, which is the first object and the supreme law of all Art."
--A.S. Southworth, 1855

Two Women Posed with a Chair, ca. 1850 
Unidentified Woman, 1852
Laura Bridgman, 1855

Winchester Family Tomb, Mount Auburn Cemetery, circa 1853

Unidentified Girl, 1850
Winter Portrait with Fur Coat and Gloves



Unidentified Child, 1850

Of course this is only a tiny bit of work by Southwork & Hawes. You can find more in the book, "Young America: The Daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes. You can also see more Photographs in this flickr set from the George Eastman House.

I hope these daguerreotypes have inspired you as much as they inspire me. 

Now, I'm off to work on a custom portrait...




The Black Cat and The White Mouse.

I just wanted to share my newest illustration of a black cat vs a white mouse. It was really rewarding to paint. I love trying to get the expressions of my subjects just right and the mouth on the kitty was a fun challenge.

I hope you like it...


 Merrrroooowwww....Look into his eyes...
The print of this illustration is 5 x 7 inches and was created with Watercolor and Gouache.

And he is available in my Etsy shop too.