How to Capture Innocence

I often enjoy drawing and painting newborns and babies, especially my very own grandchildren. Although this is one of my main artistic focuses, I have recently been contemplating what the most effective medium for capturing the softness and innocence of a child is. Is it ink, watercolor, graphite, a combination of a few, or something else completely?

Ink and watercolor portrait of my newborn grandson

Ink and watercolor portrait of my newborn grandson

I have experimented with each of these and am still working on finding the best medium. I feel that watercolor is a great way to create soft colors combinations, with the perfect amount of pigment and water. On that note, I am beginning to think about experimenting with oil pastels, as they are wonderful tools for blending. 

Do you have any thoughts? If, so please leave a comment on this post! I would love to hear from each and every one of you.

Watercolor and graphite portrait of my grandaughter

Watercolor and graphite portrait of my grandaughter

Graphite sketch of my grandaughter

Graphite sketch of my grandaughter

Watercolor and graphite portrait of Fefe

Watercolor and graphite portrait of Fefe

Watercolor and graphite portrait of Fefe

Watercolor and graphite portrait of Fefe

And here I sit

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My lovely friend, Pam Grau, invited me to stay at her home in Ojai. This was my view... 

I painted several times during the day, morning, late afternoon and almost dusk... I'll show the results later.  

One suggestion... Visit Ojai ... It is very special  

5 Questions

My wonderful friend, Leyla Arsan, hosts a blog, "Sunday Morning Soliloquy", and often writes a segment titled "5 Question Friday". On September 12th, I was interviewed by Leyla for this section of her blog. 

Each interview she conducts asks the same 5 questions, which include: "What defines you?", "What song energizes you when you are looking for motivation?", "If you were to show up to a potluck, what would you bring?", "Describe your perfect day", and "What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery? What would you do if you won $100 million?" 

These quick interviews are a terrific way to gather new insight into a person by asking slightly obscure questions. While we are caught up in the hustle and bustle of each busy day, we never really stop to think about, say, what song we turn to when we need motivation. I appreciated Leyla's questions, as they really caused me to stop and just think for a moment. 

During the interview, I delve into what inspires me not only in an artist sense, but also in my daily life. 

If you are interested in reading my responses and what inspires my artwork, you can click here: http://www.sundaymorningsoliloquy.com/2014/09/5-question-friday-with-diane-bronstein.html?m=1

EXPO CHGO 2014

The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art 

at Navy Pier Chicago 2014

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Bold and stunning .. It's a portrait. It is my favorite piece of the entire show. Artist Jackie Saccoccio. 

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Love movent... Because life isn't static. Wish I had the artists name.. Sorry

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Julie Saul Gallery had one of my favorite photo pieces by Arne Svenson called Neighbors. The rain thru the window gives you the feeling of actually standing there .. Hoping to walk in and join the warmth and company of the woman on the other side. 

 

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Clean, crisp and wonderfully executed. I enjoy art that I can look at an infinit amout of times, keep seeing more. Carly Silverman is the artist represented at the Zolla/Lieberman Gallery in Chicago.

 

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Tom Birkner... The piece says it all. Wish my photo was better. 

 

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Steven Coyle painting. Obviously a hot sunny beach day ... In mostly very cool colors.. Dotted with an occasional warm colored boogie board. 

 

 

Throwback to my youth and the way I used to paint... Did a series in a similar style and colors in watercolor after my first and only Jimi Hendrix concert in Germany.. 1969.   

This painting by Fireleil Baez ... Well Done ! Represented by Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica, California. I'll check out more when I'm there next week. 

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Hadas Tal is the talented artist who created this. I walk by buildings like this every day..thank you for giving these buildings the attention they deserve. They have been home to many. Hadas Tal is represented by one of my favorite galleries Paul Thiebaud  Gallery. 

Artsy Fartsy Week

Started off with a wonderful art fair in Lake View with my buddy Sue....

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Along with inspiring art there was  an array of music, and a fun kids section where the recreated the Tea Party from Alice In Wonderland 

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Tuesday we, Jack and I, took our walk down to Millennium Park... 

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The J Prizker Pavillion still blows my socks off from every angle. The twists and turns of the metal remind me of music floating into the air! 

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Then the Chicago Art Institute, which was just named the number one art museum in the world! Nothing like a John Singer Sargent painting ... And this wonderful piece .. Sorry don't know the name of the artist.. 

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but I have always loved it. The Magritte Exhibit... not impressed .. More depressed ...after several exhibits during his life time the galleries actually closed. 

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Yesterday painting at the Chicago Yacht Club. 

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And today, a gorgeous day, putting the finishing touches on yesterdays work. 

It Runs in the Family

As I have mentioned before, artistic talent runs deep in my family lineage. Both of my children are gifted and inventive artists who actively embrace their talents. 

My son, Barton, is a photographer and videographer in the Los Angeles area and has an astounding eye for detail.  Recently, he styled, directed, and shot a video in Bel Air, California. The video switches between black and white and color to highlight the various outfits modeled. 

I am very proud! Please check the video out here: 

You can also see more of Barton's work on his website :

http://bartonbronstein.com/

Felicity ... In floral fashion

The finished version... Or should I add a background? 

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Fefe's Great Grandma Anna, and her Great Great Grandma Mary were gardeners who's wardrobes consisted of flower dresses ... and gardening shoes. Fefe's little dress reminds me of them, including that little mischievous look on her face. 

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Is Red the New White?

As I strolled through the Upper East Side of New York City, I stopped in my tracks due to a dazzling gown displayed in the window of the Vera Wang store. From afar, I noticed the bright red wedding gown daintily positioned in the center of the window. As I approached, I was able to make out all of the delicate lace patterns throughout the composition of the dress. 

I entered the store and inquired about the modern red dress and why it was being displayed as opposed to the traditional white gown. According to the sales associate, Vera declared that red is the new color for brides. I absolutely love the new spin on classic tradition! What are your thoughts?

Back to My Roots

Lately I have been getting back to my roots by painting at local Illinois harbors. Back when I lived in California, I would love to paint sailboats while sitting outside at warm and breezy harbors. Not to mention, sailing was a great love of mine for many years. Now, once again, I have made a point of spending my weekends exploring and painting various harbors in the Chicago area. 

My first destination was Sheridan Shore Yacht Club in Wilmette, Illinois. The club offers a full panoramic view of Lake Michigan, which is absolutely stunning around sunset. 

Watercolor Painting of Sheridan Shore Yacht Club 

Watercolor Painting of Sheridan Shore Yacht Club 

My next destination was the Chicago Yacht Club, which is surrounded by a view of vintage buildings. As I sat on a little hill here last Saturday, I painted with my friend, Megan, who is working on learning how to paint.  

Watercolor Piece of the Chicago Yacht Club

Watercolor Piece of the Chicago Yacht Club

I wanted to also post a photograph of one of my favorite sailboat pieces. This was painted back in San Diego, California. I was painting outside at the harbor just as the sun began to set. Talk about great timing! 

Watercolor Painting of Golden Sails 

Watercolor Painting of Golden Sails 

A Charming Gesture

Some of my favorite painting projects are those commissioned by grooms. I find the gesture of giving an individualized portrait to their wife to be extremely romantic. 

A new groom contacted me in July to ensure that I could complete the painting in time for their first wedding anniversary. How charming! 

The bride was so elegant and presented herself flawlessly. The couple resides in the San Francisco area, but traveled the bay to have their wedding ceremony in Napa Valley. 

The couple has now been happily married for a year and I just completed the piece and sent it off to San Francisco!

Wedding Dress Painting of a Gorgeous San Francisco Bride

Wedding Dress Painting of a Gorgeous San Francisco Bride

Cannot Get Enough of Adelaide

My past two weekends painting at Adelaide have been absolutely magnificent! During my time in the boutique, I have seen gorgeous designer dresses and accessories modeled by stunning women.

I was given the opportunity to paint dresses that were designed across the world, by very talented individuals. 

Watercolor Painting of Dress Designed by J. Sebastien Vassal

Watercolor Painting of Dress Designed by J. Sebastien Vassal

I painted this lovely dress that was made by the French designer, J. Sebastien Vassal. I adored the pronounced difference between the top and bottom of the garment. The top is ornate, while the bottom remains simple...I found the balance to be just right. 

Watercolor Painting of a Dress and Jacket Combination Outfit

Watercolor Painting of a Dress and Jacket Combination Outfit

This dress and jacket pairing was perfect and a fun outfit for me to paint. The dress was designed by Les Copains, a French company, and the Jacket was created by Sonia Speciale, an Italian designer. 

Watercolor Painting of a Dress by Xenia

Watercolor Painting of a Dress by Xenia

I loved the colors that were chosen in the design process of this dress. Xenia, a Croatian designer, showcased this very festive dress at Adelaide. The colors remind me of summer and were perfect for this event. 

Watercolor iteration of a Stunning Italian Gown

Watercolor iteration of a Stunning Italian Gown

My absolute favorite piece to paint at the boutique was the long gown designed by Margutta 61, a cutting edge name in the fashion industry from Italy. This gown is backless and features various fur applications on the bottom. I loved the way the dress seemed to flow, even if it remained unmoved. 

 

A Very Bountiful Weekend

Bountiful Eatery is a relatively new restaurant in the Lakewood community, with its opening in July of 2012.  The café is quite conscious of dietary restrictions and healthy eating choices, making it the first completely gluten free restaurant in all of Chicago.

I was invited to set up a little show of my farmer’s market photography at the North Broadway location last Friday. The featured photographs paired marvelously with the mission of the restaurant and focus on local, fresh ingredients I have come across in the city. 

Front View of My Photographs 

Front View of My Photographs 

My diet is very focused on fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains; I strive to find new ways of using these ingredients, and I loved the selection at Bountiful. I was thrilled to have my photography showcased at such a delicious, conscious restaurant.

Angled Shot of My Quaint Photography Show

Angled Shot of My Quaint Photography Show

I left with an incredible juice drink in my hand, feeling like I was back in sunny Los Angeles!

Zoomed Shot of my Farmer's Market Photographs 

Zoomed Shot of my Farmer's Market Photographs 

If you are in Chicago, I would love for you to stop buy Bountiful and take a look at my pieces!

You can find each of these photos on my Etsy site at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/DianeBronstein?ref=shop_sugg

This Saturday!

Typically, I wait until I have finished a live painting event to post about it, but I decided on a different approach this time around. This Saturday, I will be doing live painting from 11 A.M. until 2 P.M. at Adelaide Women’s Boutique. The gorgeous shop is located at 1704 N. Wells Street in Chicago and specializes in European fashion.

Adelaide features pieces from designers such as Cividini, Malo, Saverio, Rundholz, Ischiko, and Palatella. The owner, Adelaide herself, selects each piece by hand and complements each collection with shoes and accessories.

I will be painting various women in the lovely gowns as they model them throughout the store. This event is open to the public and I encourage everyone to stop by.

Live Painting of a Woman in a Beautiful Red Gown 

Live Painting of a Woman in a Beautiful Red Gown 

I have included a few of my past live event pieces to give you all an idea of what I will be creating. I hope to see you there!

A Live Event Wedding Using Watercolors 

A Live Event Wedding Using Watercolors 

Live Sketch of a Woman in a Little Italy Coffee Shop

Live Sketch of a Woman in a Little Italy Coffee Shop

Black and White Charcoal of a Dress

Black and White Charcoal of a Dress

With Love, Leo

Who can say no to a delicious cupcake? Pam Rose, owner of Swirlz Cupcakes in Chicago, commissioned me to paint the adorable mascot of her quaint shop.

Leo represented the Lincoln Park cupcake shop and he played a vital role in the lives of the Swirlz family. The neighborhood dog was a family member who always showed love and devotion to his owners, and customers alike.

The beloved mascot’s paw is adorned with a little swirl to represent the trademarked cupcakes.

Leo, the Swirlz Mascot (in watercolor)

Leo, the Swirlz Mascot (in watercolor)

If you happen to be in the Chicago area, Swirlz is located right off of Lincoln Avenue in the beautiful Lincoln Park. In my opinion, the shop offers some of the most unique and delectable flavor combinations. Each flavor is baked fresh daily with the finest of ingredients. Stop on by and grab one of Leo’s favorite pastimes!

Swirlz Cupcakes Store Front

Swirlz Cupcakes Store Front

A Week on Wells

I adore the sun and I really take advantage of it during the short months that it presents itself in Chicago. During the week, most of my days are spent outside cafes sketching and painting what I observe around me. 

Plum Market outside view 

Plum Market outside view 

So far, this week has been spent on one of my favorite blocks, Wells Street, in Old Town, Chicago. Plum Market houses an Intelligentsia Coffee, which brews some of the most magnificent beans in the city. I often order a soy latte, find a table outside, and begin people watching and sketching. 

Man sitting at cafe people watching

Man sitting at cafe people watching

Man sitting at cafe taking in the rays

Man sitting at cafe taking in the rays


Nonstop New York

I enjoy escaping Chicago for an even bigger city once in a great while...which brings me to the Big Apple. I just recently returned home from a trip to NYC with my son and daughter. 

My daughter appreciating the art of NY

My daughter appreciating the art of NY

While in the city, we love to frequent the art museums and walk the streets searching for artists at work. Both my son and daughter are extremely artistic and talented, and we all share a mutual appreciation for exploring the art of New York.  

Art museum in New York

Art museum in New York

One day, we decided to make a pit stop at Joe's Coffee House  in the Upper East Side to replenish our caffeine levels. With me, like most other days, I had my sketchbook and portable watercolor set. While people watching, I captured a young woman who seemingly just got off work, bought a bouquet of gorgeous flowers, and was hailing a cab. 

I wanted to capture the urgency that is ever present in NYC and I feel that this moment in time was an authentic depiction of the city's buzz.

Watercolor of a woman hailing a cab with one hand and a bouquet in the other

Watercolor of a woman hailing a cab with one hand and a bouquet in the other

Koffi in California

Each time I travel to California, I make an effort to paint at my favorite coffee shop, Koffi. The quaint cafe is located in Palm Springs and attracts and array of unique patrons. 

Anywhere from students, to life-long friends catching up, to artists like myself, Koffi is a go-to stop for tea and coffee lovers alike. 

During my last visit to sunny California, I stopped by the cafe to have a quick cup of Joe and recreate the scene I saw before me. I used pen and ink to sketch out the two tables of friends catching up, and then proceeded to fill with watercolor. 

I painted with a rustic style, which paired well with the atmosphere of the shop. The prominence of sepia tones allowed the people to really pop from the background. 

Watercolor painting of Koffi in Palm Springs 

Watercolor painting of Koffi in Palm Springs 

"A Midsummer Night's Dream"

I have been quite busy over the past couple of weeks due to various projects; the most recent piece I completed was one of my most intricate endeavors yet. I was invited to a party to celebrate the expectance of a lovely woman’s first child, who turned out to actually be a set of twins! The joyous gathering was of life-long friends sharing memories and light-hearted anecdotes.

Initially, I attended the party with the intentions of painting the scene live, but the massive size of the venue and the randomized scatter of guests caused me to take a different plan of action. Instead, I positioned each woman around the fire pit in the corner of the yard, and decided to capture multiple photos. 

From the photographs, I was able to recreate the party and give the radiant new mother a one-of-a-kind piece that she can keep as an unforgettable memory. 

Watercolor piece of women celebrating the expectance of twins

Watercolor piece of women celebrating the expectance of twins

Sketches of Humans.... at the Public Hotel Chicago

I have to start my mornings with a cup of coffee.  So most mornings I load  up my sketch bag and sit at a coffee shop and sketch. The other day I ran down the street to the Public Hotel.  Great coffee,  a great staff and a stunning environment 

 These two young men were in Chicago for work from NYC.  I was able to sketch them quickly while they were getting ready to start their day by reading their email. 

Sketches of Humans.

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