Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Small Paintings Blog

I've decided to start selling my small paintings through this new small paintings blog. Go check it out! This is my first Ebay listing, a 5" x 7" framed candle study in oil on canvas panel. More work will be listed soon.

September Workshops and Classes

Following are all the classes and workshops I have scheduled for September. Please also note that I have added Hilliard Gallery as a venue! Visit the classes and workshops page on my website to see what classes I have scheduled at Hilliard for October and November. Please feel free to contact me with any questions!

09-06-2008 - Skin Tones Classroom
The class will begin with a slide show presentation and discussion, exploring all the variables that affect skin tones. We will see how the Old Masters portrayed flesh, will view and analyze contemporary works, and see step-by-step in progress images of Lacey's paintings. Then, we will use this information to analyze and mix our own skin tones. Oil color palette choices for flesh tones will be discussed, but feel free to bring your media of choice to work with in class.

* 11 am to 5 pm
* Location: Carnegie Arts Center
* Cost: $120 members / $130 non-members

09-11-2008 through 10-02-2008 - Portrait Drawing
In this 4 week class we will study the art of portrait drawing from lighting and posing the model and what makes a good reference photo, to proportion, creating a pleasing and accurate line drawing, and using value to give your portrait form and solidity. We will work from a combination of life and reference photos that we create ourselves.

* Thursdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
* Location: ARTichokes
* Cost: $145 plus tax

09-12-2008 and 09-13-2008 - Sight-Size Drawing
Learn about a technique used by the Old Masters and in the French Academy in this 2 day workshop. Sight-size allows an artist to learn to see accurately and depict life on a 2D surface without the use of a projector. We will start by copying a Bargue plate and then move on to drawing a still life in charcoal.

* 5:00 - 8:00 pm on Friday and 11:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday
* Location: Carnegie Arts Center
* Cost: $170 members / $180 non-members

09-19-2008 through 09-21-2008 - Portrait Painting Workshop
This workshop focuses on painting the portrait from the live model. Figurative and portrait artist Lacey Lewis will lead the class with demonstrations, discussions, and will work individually with students as they complete each step of the process. Model and a light lunch are provided, and a limited number of easels are available for student use. Please check easel availability when you register. A list of materials needed for the class available on the Hilliard website and at the gallery.

* Firday and Saturday 10 am - 4 pm, Sunday 10 am - 1 pm
* Location: Hilliard Gallery
* Cost: $175 includes a light lunch

09-26-2008 through 09-28-2008 - Portrait Painting from Life
This 3 day workshop will cover everything from posing and lighting the model, basic facial proportions, creating an accurate drawing and likeness in monochrome, values, and skin tone palettes. Lacey will both demonstrate on her own canvas and help students individually as they complete each step in the process. Focus will be on oil painting, but water media and pastel artists are welcome.

* Friday 5pm - 8pm, Saturday 11am - 5 pm, Sunday 10am - 1pm
* Location: Carnegie Arts Center
* Cost: $250 members / $260 non-members

Saturday, August 30, 2008

La Forza Di Arte

Anyone here speak Italian? I found my work on the blog, La Forza Di Arte, which I never heard of before. I translated the blog title as meaning 'The Power of Art.' It appears to have art and women, right up my alley.

Scroll down to see the posts containing my work, or follow these links:
Post 1
Post 2
Post 3
Post 4

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thoughts on My Bias Towards the Female Form

I don't usually delve into the thoughts behind my work on this blog, but today I am taking the leap in doing so. Thank you for those who commented on my portrait of Seamus, and brought up the issue of adding the male figure to my work. It has come up more than once over the years that my work is almost exclusively of the female form, and to date the only men that have made appearances in my formal work are or have been murdered by women. I am sure this has prompted many to speculate on certain aspects of my psychology, as various Freudian theories could be applied, but for now I thought I'd explain my bias as I see it.

The first and foremost reason that I focus so much on women in my work is simply that I am a woman myself. I am often seeking to express an idea or emotion that is mine, and it is difficult for me to try and 'speak' through a male image. I'm not a male, and therefore I don't so much think or feel from the perspective of a man. Many ideas are universal and are experienced by both sexes, that is true, but there is still a difference in the way men and women experience life, and therefore the gender of the person in the image has an affect on the way the message comes across.

For example, in my painting, "Insecurity," and it's companion, the nearly finished "Security," try to imagine the same compositions, but with men inserted in the women's places. In my mind, at least, the paintings wouldn't make sense and would even seem silly... I mean, men in general aren't that self-conscious about themselves, or at least they aren't perceived that way in society and in my experience don't behave the same way as women when they are in the buff. Perhaps it is sexist for me to assume these things, and of course I know that men can and often do have body-issues as well, but I still can't generally seem to wrap my head around truly expressing myself through the male image.

Secondly, let us simply consider the natural beauty of the female figure. A woman's form, in my eyes, naturally composes itself without much hassle and has so many aesthetically pleasing curves and rhythms in comparison the the relatively utilitarian male figure. It seems to me that much of the really great art containing the male figure portrays the subject in a rather feminine pose. I've included two beautiful works by Michelangelo here as examples. The Dying Slave, especially, I see as not only a relatively feminine but nearly an erotic pose.

Slightly unrelated, I have had more than one conversation lately about male and female bodies in pop culture vs in fine art. It almost seems like the standards are reversed in each situation. In pop culture (even with TV news anchors, etc.) it is OK for men to have a sub-ideal body, so long as they have the personality and sense of humor to make up for it. Women, however, tend to need to be very thin, regardless of if they are a singer or a comedian. In fine art, though, quite a variety of feminine forms are and have been considered beautiful while throughout history only one real male body-type has been preferred by artists.

Edit: After I wrote this post, I found this image on my Michelangelo search... it is supposed to be an image of what the sculpture David might look like it done after a modern-day American model. Of course, it was done as a commentary on today's obesity 'epidemic,' but I think it also goes along with my point, above.

In closing, I have been planning for a few years to add the male form to my body of work. I do have a handful of paintings that I have had sketched out for some time, but have yet to be started. Stay tuned and these may appear in the near future. And no, the men in these new compositions are not there merely for the women to murder! However, it is going to be a real challenge for me to get past something purely academic in these pieces, for the reasons mentioned above. Also, for those that asked, yes, there will be more of Seamus soon. I have been drawing live from him this week, and am about to head out to the studio to finish up. I have yet to learn how to create an expressive pose with the male figure like the images in this post, but perhaps over time I will become more comfortable with the male subject and something will click.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Feminae - The Book!

You may remember reading back in June or July that I was putting together a small book/catalog of my work to bring around to galleries in NY. That book is now available for purchase at If you follow the link, you will be able to see a small preview of the first few pages, as well as the front and back covers. I will also add a link and preview to my website soon.

Printed: 33 pages, 8.5" x 8.5", saddle-stitch binding, white interior paper (60# weight), full-color interior ink, white exterior paper (100# weight), full-color exterior ink


A selection of figurative and narrative paintings and drawings by contemporary realist Lacey Lewis.

In case you are wondering, the paintings included in the book are: Reflection, Insecurity, Facade, Facade (Red), Staged, Nautilus, Nautilus II, Restricted, Pensive, Venus, Visceral, Inward, Mala, Ophelia II, Mortalitas, Mortalitas II, and Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil. The following drawings are also included: Back in Green, Visceral, Standing Nude, Nocturne, and Self Portrait.

Security - Still Plugging Away

Wow, do I ever want to finish this painting! I've just been so distracted by all the billion other things I have to do lately. I might actually be closer than I feel... the flesh *might* be done, I'm getting there with the drapery, and I have a new tube of a creamy-white paint to work into the background.

Hopefully soon I will also post info about my new book for sale!

Monday, August 18, 2008


Today at the studio, I finished this charcoal portrait I had started Saturday while working with Jamina. Seamus (pronounced 'shame-us') sat for me and was very patient, never asking for a break or fidgeting. I'm pretty happy with the results, especially since I haven't done anything more than a sketch completely from life in a *very long time.*

This is approximately where I had left off Saturday. I think I came in and added some of the darker shading and the white today before taking a break and snapping this progress shot.

The Studio

I have the studio set up enough that I can work in it, though there's still a lot I'd like to do. I really can't express how happy I have been working there today and Saturday. I can't wait to get back there tomorrow, and almost want to head back this evening! It's just so awesome to be able to leave everything as is and know no one will mess with it while you're gone. And I have many times more room than I need!

Well, let me give you the tour. Above, obviously, is the entrance to my space. Eventually I'd like to have a sign of some sort up there, and perhaps a small table with business cards, etc., set out. I'll also have some more of my gridwall up at some point, with more paintings visible from outside the fence.

There's my cute little Oscar the Grouch type trash can, with my genius gridwall canvas/painting/paper divider. I didn't have any money to build one, but I already had some gridwall, and voila! Now I just need some canvas to store in there.

This is the end of the room where I plan to do most of my work. I figure I can more my easel to either side, and move where the model will be closer to or farther from the wall. I have a tent in the corner that I will open and eventually get black fabric to cover and hang from the sides in order to control lighting, and help me get dramatic lighting for some of my narratives. Oh, and I hope to paint that wall soon.

This is the end of the space, where the entrance is. I got those two black cubbies from Scott Fitness, and am using them to display my book, recent article, and postcards on top, wile my purse, camera, etc., can be stored on the shelves underneath. Then my stuff doesn't get all dirty, nor does it get in the way while I am working. On the left are shelves for smaller canvases, props, tools, etc.

So there you have it! It still needs some cleaning, and I need a few more supplies and some paint to really make it home, but it's so nice to work in. I'm a happy camp, er, painter. :-)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Pink Lady with Cherries

I've had a couple good art days! Yesterday I didn't actually do any creating, but I did visit a few galleries; two out in Leawood, KS that I visited for fun and ARTichokes (also in Leawood) where I will be teaching in the very near future. Friend and fellow artist William Rose was having an opening there and the place was *packed.* His work looked great, but I would like to get in there without the crowd to get an even better look.

Today started off with a private lesson, followed by working with my new "apprentice" Jamina Bone. I am really happy to be working with someone who already has some background in art, and is serious about a career in the field. We worked together from a model, but unfortunately I forgot my camera. I'm going to keep working on mine later this week, so I will post images soon.

Did I mention we were working in the studio? I have it set up enough to get some work done in there, though there's still cleaning, painting, and stocking of supplies to be done.

After dinner and spending some time with the family, I finished up the little painting I started a couple days ago. It was fun! Photographing paintings can be such a pain, though. Above, the apple and cherries are about right, but the cloth is more green in real life, like below. Maybe when it's dry a scan will do the trick.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Little Work-In-Progress

Today I spent an hour or two on this little 5" x 7" study. It's supposed to be a Pink Lady apple and a few cherries. Hopefully the next layer will make the apple a little more, um, appley as Pink Ladies really are a good looking fruit.

Present Magazine

The folks at Present Magazine were kind enough to create a beautiful gallery highlighting my work. Click here or on the image above to see my work on Present Magazine's website!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Review Magazine - August Issue

This month's issue of Review Magazine includes an artist profile of your truly. I think Barbara Boynton did an excellent job on the piece. You can view the PDF of Review's article on my website, pick up your free copy around town, or contact Review if you'd like a copy mailed to you.

Awkward Stage

Right now I feel like this is in an awkward stage... the face has dried while where I am working on the neck/chest/hair are wet, and therefore the tones don't seem to math up. The background isn't integrated with figure and drape, though I have plans for that. I've started refining the surface of the skin in some areas, other areas are still the first layer, and the edges aren't refined at all since I haven't been working in the next background layer.

I'll keep working to help this painting bloom into something beautiful!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Small Updates

Hopefully additional updates on the painting and my studio soon! I've worked on the face, but haven't had time for much else. Most of my stuff is in the studio now, though it still feels a wee bit empty. Mainly because I haven't moved in my paintings and I am almost out of canvases, mat boards, etc. I'll share some pics A.S.A.P.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Figure Painting Workshop Details

I am really looking forward to this workshop, and it's coming up fast so sign up now if you are interested. It's not a bad fee for a three day workshop, especially considering all materials will be supplied for you, and they'll provide you lunch to boot!

In the meantime, I am busy moving into the studio, working on some projects, planning upcoming exhibitions, and teaching at the Carnegie this week. Hopefully I will very shortly work in some much needed painting time. Unfortunately, painting time has been scarce this past week. Boo!