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the antique dress

The Antique dress by Thomas Eakins
The Antique dress by Thomas Eakins

When walking through PAFA’s museum this painting just about jumps off the wall and onto your shoulders. It hangs in a large room with walls covered in art salon style.

This painting is by Thomas Eakins, PAFA’s most celebrated former student and instructor.

I love it even though it strikes me as a little ridiculous. It’s eerie. The woman looks like a ghost out of an english horror story.

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leopold seyffert

Behold! The only two paintings I can find by Leopold Seyffert that I super dig! Seyffert was a PAFA student and also a teacher at Moore College of Art & Design. His painting career seems mostly centered around working as a portraitist. His portraits are skilled, and he was hired by and painted many notable people of the day. They get the job done, but they look like work to me. Does that make sense?

I was walking through PAFA’s historic building museum with one of my classes, and saw the below first painting. Of course, it’s much more beautiful in person. The colors, specifically the magenta, is vibrant. There is something Klimt-ish about it, and the Art Deco color scheme particularly appeals to me. The skin sparkles.(edited to add: for some unknown reason, my pictures in this post disappeared, so the new photos don’t convey the color that my former pictures did.)

leopoldseyffert_lacquerscreen

The Lacquer Screen

I assume these were painted as a pair. I can’t seem to find anymore work of his similar to these. I wonder what made him paint these, and why he didn’t seem to return to it. He did paint other nudes, but none of them, as far as I’ve seen, are as exciting as this pair.

leopoldseyffert_newwithchinesebg

Nude with Chinese background

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Moving on again and Patreon

I’m getting ready for another move! This will be the fifth time in about three years, and I am ready to stay put for a while. I’ll be moving in with an old friend and her housemates in South Philly. It’s kinda like a punk rock house, except for old people that have jobs and don’t want kids on their stoop.

I am actively looking for a job that I can carry while also attending PAFA. I’ve put many of my painting studies up for sale in my shop, I’m close to finishing some larger pieces, working freelance part time, have my Redbubble shop stocked, and opened a Patreon page.

patreon_lizzelizzel

Patreon is a new thing for me, and I don’t know that I have enough *fans* to make it work, but I really like the idea and hope it becomes a useful tool for visual artists. Patreon is a site that enables creatives to fund their careers through patrons, rather than individual art sales. Someone may really love your work, but can’t afford that $800 dollar painting you made. Patreon invites art lovers to pledge a monthly amount of cash to their favorite artists or to specific projects. I really love the concept. We can’t all be a Medici, but that doesn’t mean people don’t enjoy and want to support art of all kinds.

What else I like about the idea is that the artist isn’t getting something for nothing. It’s a bit like Kickstarter in that rewards are offered to patrons depending on their pledge level. Also, patrons are able to edit or end their pledges at any time. They can change their mind.

So far I am offering non archival prints, sticker packs, painting studies, coupon codes, and thoughtful art critiques in return for pledges. My page is still a work in progress. I’ll be editing it quite a bit over the next week, but I’d love for art lovers to look at it and let me know what they think. Of course, I hope people consider pledging as well.

The next couple years are going to be tight again. I have definitely lowered my cost of living by renting a room instead of apartment, leaving my car in the ‘burbs with my parents and many other ways. Living cheap is a trick. I’ve done it before. I can figure it out again. That said, school is going to be expensive. I earned a substantial scholarship, but tuition isn’t really what I mean. I am speaking of supplies, food and even time. Time is valuable. It’s what you spend when studying and creating new work.

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Nesting in Pennsylvania

I’m here. I’ve landed. It’s happened.

I drove 12 hours with all my earthly belongings in a box truck while towing my car and with 2 cats in the cab with me. Aside from my calico exploding out of her carrier several times and almost killing us all, the drive was pretty uneventful. It wasn’t till I got to Pennsylvania that things got interesting.

honeybrookpawinter

I wasn’t even an hour into the state when I experienced my first tailgating incident complete with middle finger. Thank you, PA. I’m glad to be home, too.

Once I reached my family’s compound out in the country I found myself unable to get my truck up their driveway due to the ice and snow. There was lots of sliding, face planting in the snow and cussing. My first 24 hours in PA I spent driving, shoveling snow, hacking at ice with an axe and then ate a cheesesteak stromboli. I am now one with the commonwealth.

I’ve been visiting new and old friends and am looking forward to next month’s First Friday art walk. I’m seeking a crew to lurk the galleries with. I love Philadelphia in all it’s grotesqueness. I love it. I love hating it. It’s horrible and wonderful. It’s home. I know locals can relate, but trying to explain it to others never seems to be successful.

I’m painting while staying with my family, working long distance on my computer, but soon it will be time to find consistent work and a place to live downtown. I’ve been told my best options will be South Philly or around Fishtown.

Next week I visit PAFA’s campus. It will be for the first time I’ve been in a traditional school for years, but I expect it to feel comfortable.

I’m here. I could kiss the concrete out of gratitude, but I won’t, because Philly.

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Weird Home Philadelphia

elizabeth levesque paintings in progress

Another year, another move. I am just a day away from moving from Asheville, NC back to Pennsylvania, and in the midst of a snow storm no less. So what I really mean, is that I hope I am a day away from moving. I’m already delayed by several. Am I too old for snow now? I despise winter, and here I am moving further north. When younger I hated the heat of summer, but now I crave hot moonlit walks and feeling coated in a thin layer of sweat.

I’ll miss the hills, the river, the people I’ve met here and small town character of western North Carolina, but I’m also ready to leave. I’ve lived and learned a lot in just under three years. I’ve broken my own heart, rode love to tops of mountains and sunk into the deepest and darkest parts of my own insides. It’s time to go. It’s time to get going.

Asheville has changed me in some silly ways. I am now the type of woman who makes her own deodorant and skincare products. I wash my hair less often. I do my best to eat simple raw fruit and vegetables and now have a taste for duck meat. I’ll try to garden once I’ve nested and resist keeping my own chickens. I’m bringing some hippy back with me to Pennsylvania. I’m happy about these changes, but they still amuse me.

redunerpainting_elizabethlevesque

I’m ready to head home, and Philadelphia will always represent home to me, or it will till I put out more permanent roots of my own.

I’ve been accepted to attend the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art this coming Fall. I’m excited and terrified! Half of my tuition has been covered by scholarships, so now I am on the hunt for more funding.

Museums, galleries, weird summer smells, pot holes, legit food and greasy concrete. I want it all back.

I will still be working long distance for artist and illustrator John Nebraska and looking for other works as well once I am settled in. If you have any tips I am eager to hear them.

I’ve also been working on a new batch of paintings, this time with alizarin crimson underpaintings. I can’t seem to keep myself interested in using more traditional colors. I’m not sure how successful they will be, but painting over intense underpaintings teaches me a lot about how colors interact with each other.

quinacridoneunderpainting_elizabethlevesque