Ballroom Dancers by RG Pettit
This commission of champion Ballroom dancers Denis and Jolie Generalov was a great experience; one filled with challenges and growth! They had a frame already, so that dictated the size. It's big (26" x 34"), and the reference photo of the pose was very small (1.5" tall), but they were so helpful, providing extra profile pictures for reference. They gave me artistic freedom to do my slightly abstract style, and pick my color palette.
I was a little intimidated by the project, so I worked on it off and on for 2 months, completing a bunch of small paintings as I figured the big one out. This year I pledged to go bigger, and this was a great push in that direction!
Side note: I have been a Ballroom (Latin) dancer for 20+ years. Denis has been my coach and Pro/Am partner for 7 or 8 years. I am good friends with him and his beautiful wife Jolie, and am very honored that they trusted me to paint them dancing! They retired from competitive dancing before I met them; I would have loved to see them dance together!
What an incredible show to be a part of! 150+ art works, including painting, sculpture, photography, and fiber arts, held at the Texas State University campus in Round Rock, Texas. The opening reception/gala was March 4, and included live performances, including a small symphony that played throughout the evening. Also on hand were dessert stations with delicacies by local confectionery wizards. The venue is really beautiful and spacious. Even though there was a large crowd, it was easy to see all of the art up close.
I was honored to have my "2016" (self portrait of a tough year) included this year. If you live in the North Austin/Pflugerville/Round Rock/Georgetown corridor, I suggest you take an hour to check this one out. The show runs through May 5.
Texas State University Round Rock Campus
1555 University, Round Rock, Texas
Lady Liberty by RG Pettit
"We are stronger in the places that we've been broken" – Ernest Hemingway
This concept of kintsugi (mending pottery with gold) seemed perfect for the Statue of Liberty. As a nation, we are becoming more divided, which makes me fearful. I hold onto my faith in the Constitution and the democracy that our founding fathers so painstakingly created to keep our country strong, even in these uncharted times. This piece was sold in auction and the proceeds were donated to NRDC, because our environment is being threatened. #takeactionauction
Presidents Day inspired me to paint the best presidents (ranked by historians). I really enjoyed reading about each of these men, and "getting to know them" through the painting process. All great leaders who tirelessly and seriously worked for the people they served.
I plan to do at least 12, which will make a nice symmetrical display. These are small studies (6" x 6"), each completed in 3 hours. Oil on cradled birch board.
1: Abraham Lincoln (16)
2: George Washington (1)
3. Franklin D. Roosevelt (32)
Rhea Groepper Pettit
New works, new ideas.