Anna Magruder joined us today for her second year of participating in “An Artist A Day.” Anna’s portraits in oils have a unique and recognizable style. Her use of color is expressive, sometimes surreal, and her figures are often creatively distorted or combined with unexpected backgrounds or objects. Influences and inspirations for her work include vintage Americana, the works of Renaissance portrait painters, and a variety of contemporary illustrators and painters including Joe Sorren.
A number of Anna’s most recent paintings (on view through April 24 at Guardino Gallery) were inspired by vintage travel and vacation photos. In many of these pieces, landscapes have begun to play a more important role along with her figures. The landscapes in her backgrounds add character to the scene and animate the thoughts of the people in her portraits.
Anna has worked with a variety of media, but prefers oils because of their ability to create subtle blends between shades and colors. She started today with a line drawing on a vivid solid red-orange background. With her drawing as a guide, she first painted and blended her subject’s face and hair. With this portion of her subject mostly finished, she then moved on to surrounding her figure and background landscape elements with a pale yellow-brown. She used this color to outline and define shapes and details of her figure and landscape. As she painted the clothing and figure of her subject, she layered and blended colors, but also left the original bright-red background showing in highlights and accents. The composition of her painting along with the interplay of cool colors, warm colors, subtle colors, and bright colors gives this painting a feeling that is both energetic and pensive.
The last picture shows Anna’s painting at the end of the day Saturday. We’ll post an update with a picture of her finished painting. UPDATE: The final picture shows Anna’s finished painting.
Click on thumbnails to view larger pictures.