Creating Relationships

Can You Hear Me Now?, 8"x10", oil on canvas, $575 © Isabel Forbes 2015

Can You Hear Me Now?, 8″x10″, oil on canvas, $575 © Isabel Forbes 2015

You will hear me say again and again, “make your life a work of art”. That’s my mantra, my mission, my guidepost, my dream. The edges between life and art are becoming more and more blurry.

In painting, the relationships begin between the four edges of my canvas. Creating relationships between shapes, colors, texture, values and edges makes a painting strong.

These are the relationships I thought I was creating with my paintings.

Today I see there are also other important and powerful relationships in my paintings and have come to find out this is why I really paint. Creating relationships with people.

Here are a few of the stories.

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Beach Colors, 15″x30″, oil on canvas, © Isabel Forbes 2015

A man visiting Spartanburg bought a beach scene painting. The painting was a colorful collection of shapes describing a day at the beach (N Litchfield Beach). The focal point was a woman with a red hat sitting in a lounge chair. The man bought the painting because it reminded him of his wife who passed away from cancer. She used to wear a red hat while lounging by Lake Tahoe.

I-Forbes-Heinitshwalker

Heintish Walker, 20″x16″, oil on canvas © Isabel Forbes 2015

An older gentleman bought a painting of Heinitsh Walker Drug Store. His Maternal Grandmother used to take him there for an ice cream. Unknown to him at the time, his birthmother, who was an unwed mother and had to give him up for adoption, sat anonymously at a nearby table watching him.

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Station 22, 12″x24″, oil on canvas, © Isabel Forbes 2015

There was a painting I made of Station 22 on Sullivan’s Island. A young man bought it for his wife as a Christmas gift because that was where they visited the beach for the first time and where he proposed to her. He emailed me a photo of her opening her gift. Her eyes were watering over, so touched by the thought of her husband giving her this painting.

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Penny Lane the Crab Hunter, 11″x14″, oil on linen, © Isabel Forbes 2015

The commissions I have painted of places or of family members, furry four legged and other, have introduced me to some people I now consider dear friends. Just recently a friend who had commissioned me years ago to paint her dog wrote to tell me how grateful she was to have that painting because her sweet dog had passed.

I’m sure every painting has a story for each person. Many stories I’ll never know.

These are the relationships that really make a good painting. My heart now knows this is why I paint.

Self Portrait

urban landscape, window scene, spartanburg sc, venus pizza

Waiting, Oil on Canvas, 30″ x 30″copyright 2014 Isabel Forbes

Recently I was part of an art exhibit where artists were invited to paint a portrait of themselves on a 30″x30″ canvas.

I really found this idea a fun challenge. After many thoughts came and went I landed on the idea of painting myself in one of my own paintings.

The window scene is from a local Spartanburg, SC USA restaurant/landmark named Venus Pizza. Several years ago this was the subject of one of my paintings and I loved how the window divided up the space.

Gallery East Self Portrait art reception

Gallery East Self Portrait art reception

Have Studio, Will Travel

Paint NC Plein Air event

Paint NC Plein Air event

This Summer I had the pleasure of traveling to many places. As an artist I’m always looking at the landscape around me and marveling at the beauty and thinking about how I can translate what I see in to a painting.

Photography is a great tool but with the click of a button your image is captured and you are off to the next beautiful thing. Plein-air painting (painting on location) is more like a meditation on a view.

Adirondack Painting trip

Adirondack Painting trip

I travel with a back pack which holds my palette, paints, brushes and other supplies… a portable studio!  Once I set up to paint I know I have no more than 3 hours to capture my interpretation of my view before the sun has presented me with a whole new light and shadow pattern.

Mosquitos love me!

Mosquitos love me!

Adirondacks in NY

Adirondacks in NY

When I look back on the painting I created on site I can remember the smells, the temperature, the sounds and yes sometimes even the bugs. I could never get this with a photo.

November 21st Gallery East in Spartanburg, SC – 512 East Main St will be showing a collection of my paintings created en plein air and studio paintings inspired by plein air paintings. If you are in town I hope you will stop by. Some other surprises during the reception are also being planned.

Hope you enjoy some of the images below for this year’s painting adventures.

My early rising friends

My early rising friends

 

Early Morning St Regis Lake

Early Morning St Regis Lake

Early Morning & Boathouse AdirondacksEarly Morning & Boathouse Adirondacks

Urban painting at the Art Lounge

Urban painting at the Art Lounge

Lil Talbot FL

Lil Talbot FL

Ill Talbot State Park, Florida

Ill Talbot State Park, Florida

sunset painting

sunset painting

Early Morning Modoc

Early Morning Modoc

Modoc State Park, SC

Modoc State Park, SC

One Night in June

One Night in June

Last Light Lowcountry

Last Light Lowcountry

Lilly Pads Study

Lilly Pads Study