Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I found this great publicity still portrait of actor Bela Lugosi and really wanted to paint it. I like working from black and white photos so I can make up the colors as I go, and not be influenced by the colors in the photo. For this one I really wanted to pay homage to artist Frank Duveneck, whose brushwork is just sumptuous to say the least. Frank lived in Covington Kentucky around the turn of the century 1900's. He studied abroad, but he painted and taught close to Cincinnati. In fact, I believe the top floor of the Cincy Art Museum is his actual studio!! They have several of his paintings there, and I never tire of studying them. He can do so much with just a single brushstroke, just amazing to me. It's a shame he's not more well known.
Ironically, Bela Lugosi died yesterday in 1956. He was a proud man, which I think hampered him in life. He really was a very fine actor, but never got the chance to really show what he could do in America. There are still many fans of his, myself included.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
One of my hobbies is collecting and listening to old time radio programs. One of my favorite comedy shows was entitled "Duffy's Tavern". Ed Gardner starred as Archie, the proprietor, and Eddie Green starred as Eddie the waiter. Archie was the dreamer who acted like he knew everything, Eddie was always there to bring him back to reality.
It's a shame, but a lot of the actors and actresses who appeared in radio are mostly forgotten. Try to do an internet search on Eddie Green and you'll see what I mean. I thought he did an excellent job in the portrayal of Eddie. Eddie was always trying to get in line to see his girlfriend, trying to make ends meet on his waiter's salary, and trying to talk some common sense into Archie when he needed it.
There was a movie made of Duffy's Tavern in 1945 where you can watch the characters as opposed to just listening to them. It had a lot of stars from that era, but overall didn't really capture the charm of the radio show. When Eddie Green passed away the radio show suddenly wasn't as funny as it had been with him. By the time Duffy's made it to television he probably would have made the show a lot better than it was. I would have liked to have been able to see him try.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
I started doing a close up portrait of Vincent Price that wasn't turning out the way I wanted it to, so I stopped, found another reference shot, and produced this one instead. The below lighting really produced some great shadows on him, and that's what appeals to me about this portrait.