Leena Geronimo, Apache, c. 1900
Oil on Linen
34 x 28"
I have a fascination with historic photos and the people that appear on them. I did a series of Native American women painted from 8x10 B&W photographs. This young woman is the daughter of the famous Geronimo. The painting shows a contemporary treatment of the subject.
My career of 40 years was that of a jeweler, doing very exacting and detailed work. As a jewelry designer, shapes, composition and color were of critical importance to my work.
Early watercolor lessons focused on the transparency of color, still important to me even though my medium is now oil paint on linen canvases.
My paintings are strong and full of bold color and contrast. My style might be called Contemporary Realism, under the broad umbrella of Representational Art.
The things I choose to paint come from experiences and encounters in my life, here in Virginia and on my travels. I have made multiple trips out west in the past several years and have been influenced by those travels and the photos I come home with.
Flowers are a subject that I have turned to often over the years. A gardener myself, I have worked with composition and color in natural outdoor settings as well as on canvas. I am drawn to the repeating patterns and shapes found in nature. Flowers are the perfect place to notice light and shadows, also important elements in my paintings.
I am a studio painter and use my photographs as references for the paintings. A recent series of native American women were painted using historic black and white photos as references.
Painting is an important form of self-expression for me, my voice, a form of communication. The photos represent the experience to a point, but I enhance the paintings with the memories of that time, and my emotional connection.