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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hand-painted jewelry with trompe l'oeil pearls in new Etsy shop!

Please visit my new Etsy shop, The Pearl Paintbrush, for hand-painted jewelry with trompe l'oeil pearls!  Currently listed are "Bella" pendants and earrings.  More designs will be added soon!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New Items in Online Store!

I've added several additional items to my Christmas sale of mini paintings and drawings, including a sneak preview from my upcoming line of hand-painted jewelry!  Click here to visit my web store
**Free shipping Priority Mail for U.S. orders! Please place order by December 18th for Christmas delivery.**


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Online Sale of Mini Painting & Drawing Studies

Please visit my web store to see the small painting and drawing studies I have for sale:  poster studies (including one gilded with white-gold leaf), tiny drawings on toned paper, and 12 miniature pearl paintings!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Painting: Echo

Echo (Apple and Nautilus at a Window), 8" x 10", oil and 12k white gold leaf on panel
My new painting Echo will soon be on its way to Haynes Galleries for the small works show!  The idea for this painting began when I glanced over at my table full of potential still life objects and one accidental arrangement caught my eye:  a ripe red apple reflecting pink in the neighboring pearly nautilus shell, surrounded by the suble lavender hue of my studio walls. I loved the combination of delicate pastel colors with the vibrant candy-apple red of the fruit, and set up a still life with the shell and apple sitting on a windowsill.  I decided to frame the composition within an elliptical arch gilded in white-gold leaf, to echo the curves and shimmer of the nautilus.

Study for Echo, 3" x 4", oil and white gold on canvas paper
The poster study for Echo is now in my online shop of mini studies.

Monday, October 15, 2012

New Painting: Sugar Bowl

Sugar Bowl, 3" x 3", oil on muslin mounted on panel
by Anna Wakitsch
for sale on eBay: click here for details

Anna in the studio working on Sugar Bowl

I recently completed a small oil painting of a vintage china sugar bowl with a pearly iridescent finish and shiny gold trim.  This painting is 3" x 3" square, with a painted black border around a tondo (circular composition).  My signature (the initials AW combined) is in the lower right-hand corner of the border.  Please visit this link to eBay if you are interested in bidding on this painting:

This sugar bowl will also make an appearance in another painting that has been a work in progress for a while... here is a detail from one iteration (not the final version) of the preparatory drawing:

Detail from untitled work in progress,
graphite and chalk on toned paper

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Ryder Studio tours Holland, Part 1: Amsterdam Art (Rembrandthuis and Rijksmuseum)

For two weeks this May, I was given the amazing opportunity to be a part of The Ryder Studio's Rembrandt Pilgrimage in The Netherlands.  These next few posts on my blog will highlight some of the things that were most memorable for me.  This trip meant a lot to me, not only seeing the home country and paintings of great and inspiring artists of the past, but sharing the experience with friends who also inspire me so much.

Many many thanks to our teacher Tony Ryder, our guide Emile Wiegand Bruss, and to Tina and Robert Yahng.  Also to Celeste Ryder, John Reger, Toby Hall, Mercia Moseley, David Baird, Anwar Lowther: it was such a privilege to draw with you all again, explore museums with you, and learn from your insights.  And to Marty Reger: if not for your timely reminders, I would have forgotten we were actually in Europe!!  Ceci, Kasey, Dori and David: it was wonderful to share in this adventure with all of you, and I had so much fun getting to know you better.  And Tessa!  thank you for being the loveliest and sweetest model, and for wearing your pearl earrings.

Rembrandt's House:

On the first day in Amsterdam, we visited the Rembrandthuis. Rembrandt was born in Leiden, which we visited toward the end of our trip, but for much of his life he lived and worked in this very house in Amsterdam:

Below is Rembrandt's former studio with north light windows.  The quality of the light in Holland is (as we expected it would be, but even more so) exquisitely beautiful: cool, pearly and soft, yet with a kind of crystalline clarity.  (Later on in the trip, we had our drawing workshop in a north-lit studio in The Hague and were able to study the effects of such light.)

An artisan demonstrates how to make paint the old fashioned way, mixing the oil into the dry pigment powder (If I remember correctly, this was carmine red, made from little bugs and used to glaze over the vermillion base of the dress in Rembrandt's painting The Jewish Bride):

Many of Rembrandt's paintings and etchings are on display here.  Below is an original copperplate that he would have etched to make prints.  (I was particularly interested in the plate itself, because I have been painting on copper.  This gained popularity in 17th century Holland as painters began to appropriate the etching plates as a painting support.)


The next day we toured the Rijksmuseum, which has an amazing collection of 17th century Dutch art.  The building has been undergoing renovation for some time, so the highlights of the collection have been distilled to fit into one wing of the museum (plus a mini-Rijksmuseum-satellite at the airport, of all places, which I was able to see on the last day before I flew home).  In this lone wing, there is ample feast for the eyes, including Rembrandts scattered all around and a wall of three perfect Vermeers.

Tony spent much time here and throughout the trip showing us how to approach making sketches and studies from these masterworks in order to download subtle observations from the paintings which otherwise may have remained below the level of awareness.  He demonstrated how he looks for the flow and movement in a painting and how every element in the design is orchestrated into the unity of those rhythms.  It became clear to me that the purpose of sketching in such a place is not merely to attempt a pretty copy, but rather to exercise a super-charged way of looking with really focused attention-- a way to actively appreciate and study the painting.  This idea was really helpful for me to remember when I was feeling overwhelmed and faced with the question of how to make the most of my time at these museums where every room seemed filled with masterpieces.

Rijksmuseum exterior:

Looks like there is a party is going on through those doors:

Rembrandt's The Night Watch:

Tony discussed his insights on several of Rembrandt's portraits, including those of JohannesWtenbogaert and Maria Trip:

My main haunt was the Wall of Vermeers, watching people come and go (paintings are The Little Street, The Milkmaid, Woman in Blue Reading a Letter):

I spent a long time staring up close at these sparkly bits of The Milkmaid:

Mini study of Woman in Blue:

A pair of little silver globes, c. 1640 (I am not sure but I think that one is terrestrial, the other celestial, and they may serve as cups or goblets):

Cool calm church interiors by Saenredam (top) and de Witte (bottom):

Holland, Part 2:  Coming soon!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Studio Sale

Visit my online Spring Studio Sale at my website store, where a selection of my portrait paintings and drawings, still life, and pearl paintings will be available through the end of next week.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Online Tutoring in Painting and Drawing

From time to time I accept a limited number of private students for individual online tutoring. I teach portrait, figure, and still life oil painting and drawing in the classical realist tradition, based on my years of intensive training and teaching with artist Anthony Ryder. The focus of my work and instruction is to combine graceful, dimensional drawing with jewel-like light and color. I work with each student at his or her level, and have given private instruction to both beginners and professional artists. Students can choose a particular focus such as fundamentals of drawing, fundamentals of color, or general critiques and guidance. All students will be asked to provide good-quality digital images of their work for critique. For more information or to sign up, please click here.

Anna Wakitsch received her B.A. in Art Theory and Practice (Painting Concentration) from Northwestern University in 2001. In 2004, she began her study of painting and drawing with artist Anthony Ryder, and in 2006 moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she began working as Mr. Ryder’s teaching assistant at Andreeva Portrait Academy. She then taught as his assistant instructor in painting and drawing at The Ryder Studio from its opening in 2007 until she returned to the Chicago area in 2011. While in Santa Fe, Anna also studied anatomy with Geoffrey Laurence, and painting and drawing with Kevin Gorges. She has taught private lessons and workshops in Santa Fe, Dallas, and Chicago. Her work is collected internationally and has been published in the magazines American Artist Drawing (Spring 2010) and American Art Collector (October 2008), in articles about The Ryder Studio. Anna has participated in group shows in New York state, Santa Fe, and the Chicago area, and currently exhibits at Haynes Galleries in Thomaston, Maine.