Sunday, July 27, 2014

Child Portrait Study

I am always creating...sometimes it is a project for my home, and sometimes it is on paper/canvas/wood.  Moving into a new home and trying to put my personal touch in every room has made it hard for me to find that balance of working on my growth in visual arts and learning and doing new projects for the home.  

I have been going through a graphite stage recently where I just want to draw...focusing on the mix of Zentangles and portraiture, but I decided to pull out those neglected tubes of oils.  Oh how the love of oils was rekindled in my heart...the smell, the way the brush felt in my hand, and the way the paint moved on the canvas.  

It had been a while since I attempted a portrait so I pulled an old photo of my daughter and proceeded to do a study of her.  Flesh tones remain a challenge for me...I still haven't established a good "formula" for them.  My flesh tones are never the same from one portrait to another.  I guess in time I will find my own method of mixing that works for me.   Happy Painting all!!!

Christina Rose
Beverly Gurganus
11x14. Oil on Canvas

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Another Zentangle Portrait

                                                          Graphite on paper
                                               Beverly Gurganus
I have been fascinated with the blend of Old Hollywood and zentangle styles.  In the previous peice, I incorporated zentangle within the portrait itself via the hair and hat, but I wanted something a little more subtle in this one so I only did the background.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Zentangled Portrait

9x12" graphite on paper
By: Beverly Gurganus

I discovered zentangle a few years ago and love it.   I like the random design from a single thread (similar to a scribble) and then letting the art take its own form, but lately I've been wanting to take it in another direction.  I have seen Zentangles incorporated with various subjects, and the zentangle/portrait draws my attention the most...I decided to give it a go.

Above is my first attempt.  I used a photo of Angelina Jolie as a reference and the piece developed from there.  Most of my Zentangles are done in fine tip sharpe, and I debated on using sharpe here.  I finally decided to keep the entire piece graphite so there will be an even flow throughout the piece and not letting the zentangle over power the portrait.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Still Life August 2013

Beverly Gurganus
12x4  Oil on Canvas

Some of my favorite still-lifes to paint are bottles.  I love all the shapes and reflective light found in the glass whether transparent or not.
In this piece I was trying to stay with a more muted color scheme (I usually use bolder color) and a cropped composition bringing the eye in through the cropped bottle.
 I still haven't master the perfect bottle where both sides of the bottle are perfectly symmetric, but I like the character that the imperfection brings to a painting.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dr. Paul Hawkins

In my previous post, I shared with you a portrait that I painted of Dr. Hardison founder of Tidewater Baptist Temple (the church that burned down a year and half ago).  I have been in the process of replacing the portraits that were destroyed in the fire.  Below is the second portrait (completed in November 2012) of Dr. Paul Hawkins.


Displayed at Tidewater Baptist Church

Monday, October 29, 2012

Founder, Dr. Hardison

As I mentioned in an earlier post {a year ago} our church had a fire that destroyed the sanctuary and damaged the rest of the building, and now we are down to the last few weeks of re-building.  There is excitement for returning to the home of Tidewater Baptist Temple.

That being said, I've made it my mission to replace the portraits of our past Pastors that were destroyed.  Time is catching up to me and I'm starting my second out of three.  Below is the first portrait.

Dr. Hardison was the founding Pastor of Tidewater Baptist Temple.  He now travels as an Evangelist while remaining a member.  He has been a faithful servant of God and he is greatly loved.

Dr. D.M. Hardison
Beverly Gurganus
Oil on Canvas  24"x30"

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Engagement in Paris

Time has not been my friend lately, and it has been proven by how long it has been since my last post.  I am still here and working on paintings (even if I can't find time to post about them all).  Just to give you an idea of my day... 
   I start my day at 5:15 or 5:30 (depends on whether or not I hit the snooze button) with a work out.  I drop the kids off at school, p/u the baby I watch, and return to school by 12 noon to pick up my kindergartner.  Lunch, nap (for the kids that is), and back to school to pick up my 10th grader.  The rest of the afternoon is homework, dinner, the prep for bed.  If I'm lucky, I can fit some studio time in.  Oh, Thursdays I don't babysit so that is my painting day and my favorite day :)

Enough of that! 

Here is a commissioned painting I recently completed.

Beverly Gurganus
24x22 Oil on Canvas
I was approached by a gentleman (a friend) to paint a picture of the Eifle tower.  He was getting ready to celebrate his 10th wedding anniversary and wanted to give it to his wife.  The Eifle Tower is a favorite of hers not only because it is beautiful but also, her husband proposed to her at the base of the tower.  I had never painted something like this before and was a bit nervous because I really wanted it to be special for them.  He gave me a photo and I got to work.  Whether the painting is technically successful could be debated, but the couple was very pleased, and that was my ultimate goal. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

"From Ashes Comes Life"

Earlier this year I wrote a post about our church that caught fire and that the sanctuary was destroyed along with everything inside.  Our Pastor's son (Andrew) rummaged through the ashes and found charcoal remnants of our church piano.

The bag containing burnt pieces of our church piano:

Andrew approached me during Art Class (he was one of my students) asking what the possibilities were for using the charcoal pieces of piano to draw the piano.  I told him that I would play around with it.

I never could find out the exact model of our piano so I decided a drawing of piano keys would work. 
Here is the final drawing:

"From Ashes Comes Life"
Beverly Gurganus
Charcoal pencil and Burnt wood from Piano

The burnt wood worked well with lighter values, but was not successful with darker values.  I chose to use my charcoal pencil for the darker values.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Spring, that time of year when the outside no longer looks cold and uninviting, but rather full of life with a color palette of warm greens, yellows, purples, blues, and reds.  The songs sung by birds and the smell of wonderful fragrance fills the air.  I love this season so much that the sneezing, itchy eyes, and headaches from the pollen doesn't even get me down.

One of my favorite things about Spring is the blooming Irises growing in my front yard (oh, how I wish they would bloom spring and summer  *sigh).  Every year I take pictures in hopes that I will one day paint these flowers.

I woke up one Monday morning and thought..."Why not take my easel outside and spend this beautiful day painting."  So that is what I did, I painted my Irises.

                                                  "Irises"  11x14 Acrylic on Canvas   2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sculpting with Chocolate

It was that time daughter's birthday.  Each year I allow her to request the type of cake she wants for her birthday.  This year she chose something simple {not} a horse for the top of the cake.  She has specifics...the horse had to be black and white.

I had already tried sculpting with gum paste, but that was not successful.  On my trip to the cake store, one of the ladies told me of modeling chocolate.  I mixed up the recipe and began is the horse that took three hours to sculpt.

I was very happy with the horse and most importantly, Christina was happy.  Next, was to design the rest of the cake to fit her "cowgirl" theme.  Here is the finished cake.

...and the happy 5 year old