Sarah Buell Dowling’s First-Ever Sale

I’m posting birds probably because it’s spring, and we’re moving, and I’m decidedly feeling the nesting urge. Our house has sold, but we’re not clear where we’re headed yet, except we know we’re staying in Charleston.

Royal Tern

I want all my paintings to find a nice home where they’ll be loved and bring a smile or provoke a thought. The best way to do that, one would think, would be to have a sale.

All my paintings will be anywhere from 20% to 25% reduced. Gag!

I’m hoping this blog will, perhaps, cause you to feel the nesting urge, and bring one of these paintings into your home.

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This little Wren just found a home! He was grabbed on Instagram before the sale even began!!

I had to paint this Wren as he’s been sitting on my kitchen window sill chirping his heart out. I figured he was singing “paint me!” And so I did.

Singing Wren

COME TO MY STUDIO!

1393 SOUTHERN MAGNOLIA LANE MT. PLEASANT, SC 29464

Friday, March 31 ~ 4 – 9pm

 

Saturday, April 1 ~ 10am – 3pm
 
OR PEEK IN ON MY WEBSITE

Fall Blog 2015

"GREAT BLUE" At last I am finally painting! "Great Blue" (oil on canvas) has been a long time in the making. The piece below is the initial painting. I love the blues in that piece but I was more interested in achieving a more natural look. I've done few landscapes,...

SPRING 2015 IS HERE!

  I saw this spoon in a drawer of antique silverware belonging to my mother. I was struck by this particular one and its simple beauty. I loved the way the silver caught the colors that were nearby: the orange ruler and the aqua of a glass bird. They really...

Sarah Buell Dowling Fall Blog

Sarah Buell Dowling Fall Blog

I've not done very many paintings in oil, nor am I a still life painter, but I recently took a workshop with Chris Groves, a very talented, Charleston-based painter, and above is the result. Oils are messy! But I LOVE that you can change up, reposition, and...

May Blog

I painted this somewhat abstract painting, "Cautious" in response to seeing a photo of my aunt (taken somewhere around the mid-1930s) hiding in the back of a room peopled with mostly old women wearing assorted hats and solid shoes - perhaps, a garden club...

Christmas Commission

"Rosie & her six flower girls"

This painting was a Christmas gift from Luke to his wife, Rosie. Tackling this portrait was scary because I know Rosie, and I wanted this to be good, PLUS I’ve never done anything with this many different personalities in one portrait. I mean, look at the expression on the little one to the right of Rosie. No wonder Rosie’s smiling…

…Luke wanted this to be a surprise, and I’m touched that he was willing to take a chance on such an important gift.

I’ll try and take you through the process.

Once I’d done the drawing (1st image on right), I then put liquid masque over the areas where I wanted to be able to wash color, and keep the white of the paper (namely, the small lights against the brick wall). Those are the brown blobs you see.

Next, I painted the bricks and floor to establish my background.

Then I started laying in the pale purples for the shadows of the material, and golds that were reflected in the sparkles that were throughout the dresses. This I had to do slowly as the shadows and reflections are subtle. Remember, everyone was wearing, basically, white! I wasn’t trying to recreate every little nuance, but just suggest what was going on. This, frankly, is what took the most time. The skirt is fundamentally made up of shapes, lots of them, in varying subtle colors. This forced me to call on attributes that I don’t naturally have, namely discipline…

The third and fourth images show more of the laying in of the colors, gradually adding more depth each time.

drawing
laying in the image

On the right is a close up of the bridal gown shapes and folds.

Below are close ups of the flower girls

Luke chose a wonderful gift for Rosie. For me, it was thrilling to see them so happy with my painting.

“She loves it! She was really taken aback.

It so wonderfully captures all the personalities of those little girls and that special moment”

Luke Riddle

“I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!! Thank you so much Sarah! You did an absolutely amazing job!

Rosie Riddle

If you’d like a watercolor, pastel, charcoal or oil portrait or painting for someone special, please go to my Commissions page or contact me through either email or phone (912-223-8674), and I’d love to work out something for that special person.

The Pink Hat

"The Pink Hat" is a painting I've been wanting to do for months! A dear friend had been to Uganda, and this little girl's picture was among the photos. Her innocence was so compelling. So was the hat. Interestingly, the most difficult part for me were the hands. The...

Portrait of a very dear friend

"Doots" My childhood best friend, who died last year was just so full of life! She loved to laugh. We met in pre-nursery school, and were both "Doots." We started the renowned "Doots & Doots Detective Agency"... solving all manner of crimes...often ones that we...

Teaching this class was so much fun!

I taught my first class! They liked it!! Who knew....   When I was in my twenties, I taught an art class of about twenty students, all ages. Within several weeks, most of the class had evaporated!  After that, I determined that I should leave teaching to...

Painting On A Billboard!

  I never thought that a painting I did with enticing lips would be chosen to be on a billboard!     A wonderful group called "ArtPop" (ArtPop Street Gallery) is on a move to fill billboards all across the US and eventually even in Europe with art!...

Sarah Buell Dowling’s First-Ever Sale

I'm posting birds probably because it's spring, and we're moving, and I'm decidedly feeling the nesting urge. Our house has sold, but we're not clear where we're headed yet, except we know we're staying in Charleston. I want all my paintings to find a nice home...

Christmas Commission

This painting was a Christmas gift from Luke to his wife, Rosie. Tackling this portrait was scary because I know Rosie, and I wanted this to be good, PLUS I’ve never done anything with this many different personalities in one portrait. I mean, look at the...

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Holiday Season Blog

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Pastel Pencil Portrait of Young Girl

SOPHIE”

 

Pastel Portraits Make wonderful Keepsake Gifts!

watercolor of two asparagus
watercolor of shallots
watercolor of shallots

“Merry Christmas, Sophie” – Personalized digital print

fits right into an 11″ x 17″ frame

~ wonderful gift for a child ~

Patrick's two teenage boys
Patrick’s boys actually picked the charcoal as the look they would like. They’re thrilled!
Charcoal portraits make wonderful keepsake gifts!

To see more portraits and to order click here: Pastel & Charcoal Pencil Portraits

TESTIMONIALS

“Oh, Sarah! Words fail me. It is beautiful!”
 
Jennifer  Riesmeyer Elvgren, Sophie’s mother

“We met with Sarah one morning and she took pictures of my teenagers while we were having a conversation. She was able to take the photos and piece them together into a work of art. The drawing is beautiful and catches their personalities. Thank you Sarah!”
 

HERE YOU CAN SEE MY PAST BLOGS

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Pastel & Charcoal Pencil Portraits!

Pastel Pencil Portrait of Young Girl

“SOPHIE”

 

I’m now offering colored pastel as well as sepia and charcoal portraits!

These make really wonderful gifts!

Patrick's two teenage boys
Patrick’s boys actually picked the charcoal as the look they would like. They’re thrilled!

To see more portraits and to order click here: Pastel & Charcoal Pencil Portraits

TESTIMONIALS

“Oh, Sarah! Words fail me. It is beautiful!”
 
Jennifer  Riesmeyer Elvgren, Sophie’s mother

“We met with Sarah one morning and she took pictures of my teenagers while we were having a conversation. She was able to take the photos and piece them together into a work of art. The drawing is beautiful and catches their personalities. Thank you Sarah!”
 

HERE YOU CAN SEE MY PAST BLOGS

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The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

PENCIL PORTRAITS

Image size – 11″ x 14″

Matted size (ready for framing) – 16″ x 20″

                       ~

3 DIFFERENT CHOICES

sepia on toned tan paper
sepia on white drawing paper
charcoal on toned gray paper

                       ~

I’M NOW OFFERING PENCIL PORTRAITS AS A BEAUTIFUL GIFT OR KEEPSAKE

 

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All Portraits are on acid-free paper & placed in an acid-free mat, perfect for framing as a keepsake.

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$375.00 per subject

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I will work from either a photo or a live model

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Price includes shipping (within Continental US)
8 1/2% sales tax on South Carolina orders

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For more information & To Order

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Call: 912-223-8674

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Or Email me

through the Private CONTACT box below.

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Sarah Buell Dowling Spring Blog 2016

I’m madly painting and framing in anticipation of this Spoleto Festival. I have no idea what to expect, but I’m hoping that the people who might like my work will find me. As you can see from the paintings on this post and in the side panel, I don’t have one style. I range from photorealism to folk art, and from color to monochromatic. People coming into my tent are going to think it’s the work of nine different painters. In order to get into a gallery, I have to have a singular look….hmmm.

The “Caribbean Girl” above is an example of a pretty monochromatic piece. I like that the edges sort of float away…

This piece below, “Awaiting,” is not only monochromatic, but it has a folk art/modern feel. It’s not what I would call a “pretty” piece, but I love line and inference. What or whom are these Mennonite ladies waiting for?

Women Waiting

Awaiting

I hope to see you in Charleston!

Fall Blog 2015

“GREAT BLUE”

At last I am finally painting! “Great Blue” (oil on canvas) has been a long time in the making. The piece below is the initial painting. I love the blues in that piece but I was more interested in achieving a more natural look. I’ve done few landscapes, and my mind gets blown by all the choices of shapes, greens, lights and darks etc. Which one should I pick?? Don’t believe it if anyone tells you that painting is easy…

For this piece, in order to make the white wing fade more into the background, I had to make leaves of a similar value, not necessarily color but value. The head was too large, and the beak too obvious. This might seem like simple matters, but frankly these are the decisions that make me want to eat ice cream.

I tucked more trees in to create more interest in the background, and bring more of the orange/pink color into the whole piece. I, also, wanted to created lost/found areas like under the curve of the left wing and again further down the wing. The dark areas force the light of the curve of the wing to come forward. The final painting, I hope, has a delicacy of movement that I don’t think was in the initial one. It’s that fluidity of movement that birds have that pulls me. I hope I’ve been successful.

 

This next series  is the progression of a whimsical piece, “The Interloper.” I’m always torn between super realism, folk art and whimsy. I’m supposed to have a single look, but I can’t decide… I like them all. This piece is about a bunch of Royal Terns who notice this fellow who’s entered from the left, the uninvited Seagull. These Royal Terns I find endlessly amusing with their stocky stance, wild hair and big orange beaks. I mean…

The first four stages are laying in the various birds. The last image is the final piece. I’ve tried to keep it loose with line and shapes having more importance than definition. Again, movement is an important element here.

“The Interloper” is 12″ high x 48″ wide (oil on canvas)

Step I – step II – laying in the Royal Terns and their various reflections in the water.

The Seagull…

All the birds are in, and now I need to fill in the lights/darks and accent the lines. I really love line.

The final piece. “THE INTERLOPER” Click on the image to see it in a larger version.

 

If anyone is in the Charleston/Mt. Pleasant vicinity, please come to my Open House! Fred Hudson will be at the piano.

Open House

SPRING 2015 IS HERE!

watercolor of antique spoon

The Beauty in a Spoon

 

I saw this spoon in a drawer of antique silverware belonging to my mother. I was struck by this particular one and its simple beauty. I loved the way the silver caught the colors that were nearby: the orange ruler and the aqua of a glass bird. They really weren’t even that near, but the spoon seemed to find the colors anyway.

I’m always intrigued with line and shadow, and the line of this spoon seemed wonderfully simple, even elegant. I placed it on this cloth of squares, which to me emphasized the roundness of the bowl and its shadow.

This seemingly simple watercolor is actually more difficult to paint than one would think. I was very touched by the following comment, which the son of a former classmate of mine made when he saw this piece:

“Metal is lit directly (with the source lights that are reflected once to your eye ) and by the surrounding objects that are also reflecting light (so that light reflects twice: once from the directly-lit object and then from the reflecting object to your eye). This is true of all materials that aren’t true black, but metals reflect light in closer to coherent image than other materials, which cause greater ray scattering. So polished silver would show warped but optically coherent reflections of the lit objects around them, and fabric, for example, reflects only the most incoherent suggestions of nearby lit objects, just smudges. To suggest so unambiguously, using only pigments, that the spoon is tarnished silver, is to not only get the colors right (which takes tons of practice) but to smudge the colors to somewhere between optic coherence and total diffusion.”

I wanted to post this piece as it’s the first in a series that I’d like to do using minimal color. I hesitate to say shades of gray, but that’s what fascinates me at this moment. I love the subtleties that can be found in grays. Not only do they range from dark to light, but also from one end of the color spectrum to the other. In my next blog, I’ll give a range of samples.

If anyone is wondering why I have so little to show, I’ve been busy with my younger daughter getting married. It was lovely, and great fun!

Also, I was thrilled that she wanted me to design and sew her dress. I learned sewing in junior high home economics, and it took. Also, my husband and I had a stuffed animal company (Under the Lamb, Inc), and I created several products, including an executive lamb, called E.F. Mutton, our biggest selling product. I did the original lamb. My husband wrote “The Wool Street Journal” to go with it.

E. F. Mutton a plush stuffed animal

E. F. Mutton

 

Here is my daughter, Katrina,  in the dress and train. She, by the way, has been the model for many of my paintings.

pensive

Pensive

IMG_0311
This cell phone picture shows the top. I love the way it falls around the neck.

Katrina eating the cake

Eating the Cake

I’d say that’s enough for now. I’m busy reclaiming my life, and I hope to get painting as I haven’t been able to do in years! This Saturday, I was just juried into the Charleston Art League, and I’m excited to plug in and see what happens next.

In case you didn’t see, we now live in Mt Pleasant, SC, outside of Charleston:  1393 Southern Magnolia Lane, Mt. Pleasant, SC, 29464.

Thanks so much for looking!

PHOTO OF Bradford pear

SPRING IS HERE!