Sarah's Son

Below is an Etsy commission I completed for Sarah of her son. Sarah sent me a bunch of photos and I chose one that had great natural lighting and showed his full face. I then played with color and embellished the background with foliage and some distant hills and trees.  Here are a couple process photos and final image.

"Man with Cat" and "Artist with Cat" Framed

 

When my grandmother passed away four years ago she had left behind some beautiful ornate frames which were passed on to me. I’ve been waiting for the right paintings to put in them ever since. While I was working on these portraits I realized that they were going to fit the frames perfectly. So Gary and I gave the frames a nice coat of white paint and hung them side by side. I feel very touched that we were able to incorporate my grandparents belongings into our family portraits. Below are a few photos of the paintings hung side by side.

Artist with Cat

Wonka has been by my side for the past 11 years and is a true cat partner. I wanted to do a companion piece of Wonka and I that matched the silly intensity of Gary and Pudding's painting. Wonka did not like posing for the camera but after numerous sittings and about 200 photos I finally got one that I thought captured his domineering personality and our unbreakable bond.  I really enjoyed doing these last two portraits of Gary and I with our pets. I am hoping to do more paintings of people and their pets in the future. Below is the final and process work!

Man with Cat

This painting all started with an incredibly timed photo. I glanced over to see Gary with a very serious expression holding up our cat Pudding like the fluffy prize that she is and snapped the pic.  I cracked up the moment I saw the photo and pretty much laughed throughout the entire process of working on this piece. Their matched intense expressions paired with the relative seriousness that is inherent in painting makes this hysterical to me. It was one of my favorite pieces to work on and loving both of these creatures so much made it that much more enjoyable :) below is the process from final piece to first quick paint sketch. 

Oil on gessoed board 8"x 10"

Sleepily painting on a weekday night

Dorothy Reynolds Portrait

A few weeks ago Gary and I were fortunate to spend two weeks out west visiting friends, family and a handful of national parks. For a week Gary's family and I stayed near Zion National Park in Utah. Gary's grandma Dorothy was able to make the trip as well, and on a cold rainy day we stayed in and she agreed to pose for a painting. At 91, Dorothy is sweet as they come. As she sat, It was a fun hearing her reminisce about different stories from her life and she was very patient with how much time it took me to finish (almost four hours).  Below are some shots form the session that Gary took along with the final image.

Dorothy Reynolds, Acrylic on Gessoed Cardboard, 8" x  8"

Eileen and Kyle Wedding Gift Portrait

Last weekend Gary and I had an amazing time at the wedding of Kyle and Eileen Raese! I painted this portrait from one of their beautiful engagement photos in scenic Alaska. Below the painting are some pics of the happy couple (check out Gary in the groomsmen lineup!).

kyle and Eileen_web.jpg

Acrylic on canvas 8" x 10"

Little Buddha

Below is a small painting  (appx. 4" x 3") I did as a gift for Gary's aunt Amy. It's an acrylic painting of a meditating Buddha done on the inside of a gessoed ceramic jewelry box top. The box broke a while ago and I was waiting to find the right subject to paint on the inside of the remaining top. Amy practices mediation and she wanted a little amulet to help remind her of her daily practice :)

Figure Drawing

I've been going to a really fun and affordable Drink & Draw on Wednesday nights when my schedule allows at The Living Gallery in Bushwick. $10 gets you as much box wine as you can handle, drawing materials and a nude model doing 2 min- 15 min poses from 7pm-9pm. For me its a great way to losen up from the often drawn out detail portraits that I tend to spend my tme on. Below are some examples of 2-15 minute poses in conte crayon and brush pen :)

Michelle La Belle Process

I recently completed a painting of Michelle, whom I have been friends with for over 26 years! She recently moved to New York from Florida and having her up here with me has been so great. When she sat for me and we could barely get through the photo session because we were cracking up so much. I love this beautiful courageous woman, and am so glad she took a leap of faith and moved to New York! Below is the process of the painting. 

"Michelle La Belle" 9" x 12" Oil on Board

Portrait Commission

Below is a portrait commission I did for a customer of my Etsy Shop. It was a gift for the photographer that took the photo which the painting was based on, so I wanted to keep it as close to the original photo as possible. Working that closely from the photo is not something I usually do in my work, but it was a good learning experience none the less. 

Hairy Gary Process

Below are photos of the process of my latest portrait of my boyfriend Gary. The top image is the final painting, then going backwards to the sketch I did directly on gessoed board. In the piece Gary's chest hair becomes a sprawling pattern of color behind him, overtaking most of the surface. A nod to the interconnectivity to us and our environment, as well as what life might be like without some good personal grooming from time to time ;) The painting is 12" x 12" and painted in oil on gessoed wood board. 

gary final small 3.jpg
gary final small 4.jpg
gary final small 5.jpg

Business Cards Are In!

I finally updated my business cards after years of scribbling my name and out of date website on random pieces of paper as a means of networking with people interested in my work. I'm growing up. I chose two of my favorite portraits and placed each on either side of the card along with my signature and website. I had them printed at GotPrint, and they were here within a week. Overall I'm happy with the way they turned out. 

Escape Brooklyn Wedding

Earlier this month I was fortunate to attend the wedding of Escape Brooklyn creators Erin Lindsey and Denny Brownell! The beautiful outdoor ceremony was held in Phoenicia, NY and was complete with live folk music by Morgan O'kane and a vegetarian buffet that had me going back for seconds and thirds! For their gift I decided to paint a couples portrait of them doing what they love the most, being in nature and looking completely stylish while doing it. I used a photo from their Escape Brooklyn website for reference and completed the acrylic painting on the back of an old book cover.

Finished acrylic painting on gessoed book cover 5" x 8"

erin and denny wp.jpg

My messy work area.

Original photo I worked from c/o Escape Brooklyn

A gorgeous pic of them from their wedding day! 

Melanie and Ryan Jamaica Wedding Portrait

On May 16, 2015 My good friend Melanie got married to her now husband Ryan in Beautiful Negril, Jamaica and for their gift I painted their wedding portrait. I wanted the painting to have a vintage feel but be very vibrate and tropical at the same time. I painted the faces in a slightly flat stylized manner, using very low lighting photographs for reference. I let the flowers and vibrant aqua color in the background tie in the Jamaica element of the piece. In the end the bride and groom were happy with the painting and my boyfriend Gary and I had an amazing time at their wedding! 

Final portrait completed in acrylic and oil paint on stretched canvas 9" x 12"

mel and ryan

The happy couple! 

A high quality print that was on display the night of their wedding!

Gary and I at the reception!

Free State Artist Series for Aeropostale

I am very excited to be featured in Aeropostale's Free State: Artist Edition Series! I was commissioned by Aero to create two graphics in my hand style and using a subject matter of my choosing. Below are links where you can buy the t-shirts as well as a great video that was created of myself painting my lovely boyfriend Gary Reynolds, at our cozy apartment in Ridgewood, Queens NY. 

Also check out a quick Q&A I did with Aero for this series: http://thisisaero.com/marcia-shapiro/

100 Years of Solitude

Recently my good friend and awesome Illustrator Katie Ng and I started an illustration group where we meet once a week to discuss illustration projects. Were hoping our group gives us a place to assign ourselves work that interest us, stick to due dates, and get critiqued at certain stages by one another. Its been really great having someone to bounce ideas off of in my personal work and I look forward to continuing to work on more projects along side my very talented and hilarious friend!

For our first project we chose to rework famous book covers, and I chose 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I loved the vivid imagery as well as fantastical and mystical elements weaved throughout this story.  I first started with thumbnail imagery in a small sketchbook and then did mockups in photoshop of two different ideas.

Option #1 Buendia's House Flooded Photoshop mock-up

For my first concept I drew from a specific part of the story, where the town of Moncado has been pummeled with rain for years and years. The Buendia's house is at the center of the composition surrounded by vast rain and flood water that threatens to swallow the town and all of its inhabitants all while the matriarch of the family, Ursula, sits in the middle window alone in her home, alluding to the solitude that plagues the characters in the novel. 

Option #2 Amaranta's Burial Shroud

For my second concept I sketched my own rendition of Amaranta's burial shroud, that she has decided to weave herself. I chose to focus in tight to highlight the black bandage on her hand and the shroud, which I felt were key elements to her character. I wanted to highlight the bright and intricate rendition of this tapestry which I thought contrasts the underline morbidity. 

Final Painting 100 years of Solitude: With Rain

Final Painting 100 years of Solitude: No Rain

For the final art I illustrated the flooded Buendia house. I sketched out the final drawing on watercolor paper, and painted with acrylic, cleaning up the image and adding some details in photoshop. In reality I more than likely wouldn't design the typeface if I were commissioned by a publishing house, but I kept it simple and hand drawn, letting the painting be the dominant. After asking family and friends which version of the painting the preferred it was pretty much split down the middle, so I decided to post both. The rain works to add the proper mood, but I'm a sucker for deep saturated colors that happens in the absence of the rain in the second option. Let me know which one you think works best!