Category Archives: City Scenes

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

Beyond the Line – Drawing for Painters Workshop

March 18, 2010 I’ll be teaching a one day class about called “Beyond the Line – Drawing for Painters”. The idea behind this class is to show painters why I think it is important to draw a “thumbnail” drawing before I begin a painting.
The drawing in picture #1 really is more about determining my values. This will help me to push back areas I think aren’t important and make sure I’m clear about my center of attention. A lot of time is spent with the painting so why not take 30 minutes and to get my head wrapped around what I’m about to tackle. I don’t always draw a value sketch and when I don’t I seem to fight with my painting more.
The picture #2 is my finished 11×14 oil painting on my easel. I really had some fun with this because many issues were thought out first. Give it a try and see how a value drawing can support your painting.
My one day workshop is March 18, 2010 at Burton Gallery in Clarkesville, GA 706-947-1351.
The building in my painting is the Sea Biscuit on the Isle of Palms, SC. The food is wonderful, but it is a small place and if you don’t get there early plan on waiting.
You can see this finished painting at the Sandpiper Gallery on Sullivan’s Island, SC.
Happy drawing & painting!


Painting Sea Biscuit- A short movie demo, click to see.

Edward Hopper, Inspiration from the Masters

Self-Portrait, Edward Hopper, 1925-30 Oil on canvas 25 1/16 x 20 3/8 in.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

A couple of years ago I painted a fellow at a local “landmark” restaurant here in Spartanburg, SC called the Skillet. I called it Morning News. When I paint or draw something there is always a combination of emotional interest and design interest that captures my eye and inspires me. In this case there was this wonderful landmark of a restaurant (I read in a newspaper when I first moved back home that the building/shopping strip the Skillet was located in would eventually be torn down and redesigned and rebuilt.) and the great design of the figure against the background and counter.
To make a long story longer…. when a friend saw the painting in my studio she remarked that it reminded her of Edward Hopper. That comment piqued my interest so I (alway the student!) did some research on Hopper.
In 2005 I had the opportunity to visit Hopper’s childhood home in Nyack, NY when I was attending at week workshop with Burt Silverman in Upstate, NY, so I of course knew of Hopper. As I researched him more I did feel a connection with some of his subject matter – the world that he lived in – the hotels, motels, trains, highways, restaurants, theaters, cinemas and offices around him.
Early Sunday Morning, Edward Hopper, 1930 Oil on canvas 35 x 60 in.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

I decided to paint a group of building in Spartanburg’s downtown area (one of which was my Step-father’s Drug Store which was the first painting I painted upon returning home, Heinitsh Walker.) which are inspired from Hopper’s “Early Sunday Morning” I’ve created sketch in my Moleskin Sketchbook with waterproof uniball, then I colored it with watercolor. On the easel is a 15″h x 30″ painting which I’m trying to photograph the process.
Hope to complete the oil painting by next week and post the process. So on the the easel…. happy drawing, and painting. Be inspired and learn from the Masters.