Original Portraits

Daphne Ladines
Oil on canvas, 20" x 16"

In this work, the cello allows for a simple yet strongly unified composition. The opposing axes of instrument and subject intersect at the subject's hand, so that the hand is not just holding the cello but also holding the composition together. Curves of the instrument are repeated in the pearls, and in Ms. Ladines' hair and face. A subdued palette was used, appropriate for a formal portrait of this type. Ms. Ladines' eyes were carefully rendered, showing the cellist as alert, intelligent, and sympathetic.

R.W. Bartlett, M.D.
Oil on canvas, 36" x 24"

In this portrait of a prominent eye surgeon, background elements—arranged to give depth and balance to the composition—are subordinated in soft shadow. In the lighted foreground, Dr. Bartlett's glasses, wedding ring, pen, and tie provide accents that lead the viewer's eye in a sweeping curve from the subject's right hand to the warm, engaging expression of his face.

Oil on canvas, 14" x 11"

This portrait presents the more grown-up side of 8-year old Shaala's personality. Her fair complexion, graceful hands, and lace dress convey a charming, delicate femininity. The position of Shaala's hands on the chair arm adds depth to the composition. The slope of her shoulders parallels the chair arm and is balanced by the tilt of her head. An impressionist style was used for the background, painted with youthful colors that complement the purple dress.

Hugh Thomas Stubbs
Oil on canvas, 24" x 18"

The subject's pose and the predominant blue of the composition suggest calm and relaxation. This mood is appropriate for Mr. Stubbs, a retired educator and man of quiet dignity. The newspaper adds interest to the composition, while the angles of the leg and tie lead the viewer's eye to Mr. Stubbs' attentive face.

Damon Sheff
Oil on canvas, 20" x 16"

Mr. Sheff has striking masculine features, but this portrait captures his introspective character. The simple composition and subdued lighting allow nothing to detract from the subject's contemplative gaze. The face is surrounded by a subtle color harmony, with reds in the background and greens in the garment shadows.

Oil on canvas, 36" x 24"

In this composition the long curve of the iguana's tail and torso is balanced by the strong vertical of the subject and the horizontal of her forearm. Cool blues and greens throughout the painting accentuate the color of Joelene's hair. The reptile's stripes are a stepladder for the eye, leading to the focal point of the portrait.

Oil on canvas, 10" x 8"

Painting toddlers can be a challenge, but this work was a pleasure to create. The portrait reveals Travis' playful nature and happy disposition. The composition does not include the usual toys and teddy bears, but instead focuses attention entirely on the subject's lively, expressive face.

Yang Huiling
Oil on canvas, 14" x 11"

The softened form and muted colors of background and silk blouse complement Ms. Yang's gentle disposition. The accents of necklace and earring provide interest without unduly detracting from the main focus of the painting—the subject's modest half-smile and eyes that are both kind and keen.

Self Portrait in Three colors
Oil on canvas, 20" x 16"

This portrait was painted with only three earth colors, plus black and white. Rembrandt is well known for using a very restricted palette and this technique, though challenging, affords excellent color harmony. The three colors I chose were yellow ochre, Venetian red, and burnt umber.

Portrait Reproductions

Titus van Rijn
Oil on canvas, 20" x 22"
After Rembrandt, c 1657
The Wallace Collection, London

"Painting a Rembrandt is a humbling experience," observes Turner. "Even after extensive scientific analysis, some of Rembrandt's methods of paint application are still not clearly understood. So instead of trying to duplicate the Dutch master's unique impasto brushwork, I have used a softer technique with some blended passages to render the overall chiaroscuro effect of Rembrandt's portrait of his sixteen-year-old son Titus." The contrast of light and shadow and the somber, restricted palette add to the intimacy of this sympathetic portrait.

Romaine Lacaux
Oil on canvas, 30" x 24"
After Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1864
Cleveland Museum of Art

It is interesting to note that the Renoir original of Romaine Lacaux was painted in the same year as the original of the Winterhalter portrait shown below. Although both portraits have a strongly unified composition, the styles are quite different. As a court painter, Winterhalter portrayed his subjects with an air of relaxed luxury and refinement. Renoir depicted feminine beauty in the Impressionist manner, using subtle nuances of color and light. Turner has adapted each work to his own more direct method of traditional realistic characterisation.

Lady Agnew of Lochnaw
Oil on canvas, 48" x 36"
After John Singer Sargent, 1892
National Gallery of Scotland

"Sargent's stunning portrait of Lady Agnew has always attracted me for its bravura brushwork and superb color harmonies," says Turner. "In this rendering, I have not attempted to copy Sargent's unique style. I have modeled the subject's face with more finished detail, and the fabric is rendered more softly. At the time of the original painting, Lady Agnew was unwell. I have endeavored to portray her as she might have looked in better health." Even with these adjustments, the portrait maintains a powerful impact.

Young Woman Seen From the Back
Oil on canvas, 18" x 14"
After Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1725-1805
The Prado, Madrid

Greuze was hugely popular in his day for painting narrative scenes in the moralistic genre. Lithographs of his works were widely distributed. As a skilled draftsman, Greuze produced many portraits and character studies. The young woman in this portrait, presented in the form of a bust, engages the viewer with a lively expression. In this rendering, Turner has retained the line and form of Greuze' original, but modified the flesh tone and overall color scheme.

Madame Barbe de Rimsky-Korsakov
Oil on canvas, 48" x 36"
After Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1864
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

This life-size portrait showcases the artist's rendering of fabric and flesh. According to Turner, "This is one of my favorite works at the Musée d'Orsay. It's an arresting portrait. Winterhalter has portrayed his subject with beautiful, pearlescent flesh and a soft, sensous charm. Although the garment takes up a third of the picture space, it's the subject's head that is the focus of attention. The sweeping curves of hair, ribbons, and arm all lead the viewer's eye to Madame Rimsky-Korsakov's lovely face."

Lady in a Red Dress
Oil on canvas, 28" x 22"
After Agnolo Bronzino, 1530
Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt

The bright red of this elegant and attractive woman's dress is balanced by the dark green of the sleeves, chair, and background. Highlights in the rosary, the hardware on the chair, and the subject's gold chain and head piece provide accents for the painting and interest for the eye. The rosary and lap dog are symbols of piety and marital fidelity. The original work was formerly attributed to Bronzino's mentor Jacopo Pontormo. It's a larger painting (35" x 27 1/2"), and is referred to also by the title A Lady with a Dog.

Old Master Portraits

The Laughing Cavalier
Frans Hals, 1624

Oil on canvas, 33" x 26"
Wallace Collection, London

This stunning work is one of the world's most famous portraits. Hals' brisk, energetic brushwork brings spontenaity and vitality to his portraits. The embroidery detail in this work is a technical tour de force that complements the superb, lively portrait of this unnamed young man with the smiling eyes.

Hendrickje Stoffels
Rembrandt van Rinj, 1654-6

Oil on canvas, 40" x 33"
National Gallery, London

The greatest of all Dutch painters and one of the supreme artists of all time, Rembrandt was brilliant and versatile. His works are noted for their strong chiaroscuro contrast and heavy impasto highlights, but it's the compassionate handling of his subjects that gives Rembrandt's portraits their universal appeal.

The Lady with a Fan
Diego Velazquez, c 1640

Oil on canvas, 37" x 28"
Wallace Collection, London

This is a rare example of Velazquez' portraiture outside the court of Philip IV of Spain. Velazquez was a gifted painter who possessed an extraordinary ability to convey the inner life of his subjects. He communicated their essential humanity with keen psychological penetration.

Still Life & Landscape Paintings

Wine and Fruit Basket
Oil on canvas, 16" x 20"

This still life is a study in color and texture. The open, elevated style of the basket lifts the main fruit group off the counter and into center of the composition. The viewer's eye is led into the picture from the knife handle and through the wire frame of the basket to the fruit. The vertical bottles, foreground fruit, and receding diagonal of the counter provide balance and contrast.

Lake Washington Sunset
Oil on canvas, 16" x 20"

In this landscape, the horizon and silhouetted pine trees divide the picture plane into rectangles, creating an abstract pattern that is restful and static. The dominant rectangle provides a sub-frame for the focus of interest: the dramatic, angular sweep of late-summer evening clouds. These bold diagonals contrast the vertical trees and flat horizon. A warm atmospheric glow was achieved by glazing the sky and lake colors over a canvas primed with red.

Oranges and Oriental Jar
Oil on canvas, 18" x 14"

In the quiet composition of this still life, the large jar has a monumental quality as it dominates the picture space. The strong horizontals of the wooden shelf give the work a restful stillness. Leaves and shadows add depth to the picture and help balance the mass of the main forms. The blue decoration of the jar complements and accentuates the vibrant color of the oranges.

Apples, Grapes & Wine
Oil on canvas, 14" x 11"

This still life is a harmony of the complementary colors red and green: red and green apples, red and green grapes, red wine in a green bottle, all on a redwood table against a green background. The basic composition is a triangle containing multiple repeats of circles and ellipses.

Geometric Abstract Paintings

Man Reading
Oil on canvas, 14" x 11"
Woman Sewing
Oil on canvas, 14" x 11"
Girl at the Piano
Oil on canvas, 14" x 11"
Artist at Work
Oil on canvas, 14" x 11"

Notable Quotes