| - Summer 2017
||Over the past few years, I left my oils and pastels aside and let myself become obsessed with street-art... The grafitti and tagging in Paris and the surrounding contryside has grabbed me and made me into a hood-wearing urban experimentalist. This latest series is the profile of a young Coco Chanel... before her feminist revolution. Through the process of teaching myself how to tag, I've come to accept that a finished portrait can be done in 30 seconds or so, when the danger of being caught is burning right behind you.
Visit my Facebok/Instagram page Portraits by Moe, for the latest experiments in classical portraiture.
| En quelques mots - Fall 2015
Je me suis installée à demeure dans la campagne française en 2009. Par amour. À l’époque, je n’imaginais pas à quel point j’allais bientôt me retrouver éloignée de ma zone de confort. Au-delà des différences culturelles compréhensibles, en termes de langue ou de rythme quotidien, il était un choc que je n’avais pas anticipé : en France, le portrait peint traditionnel est passé de mode depuis qu’on y a coupé la tête du roi. La tradition s’est à ce point perdue qu’en dépit d’années de recherches, je n’ai pu trouver ne serait-ce qu’un peintre français vivant acceptant l’étiquette de portraitiste.
Je suis une portraitiste traditionnelle.
Près de dix ans plus tard, on m’a offert l’opportunité d’une exposition personnelle dans une très belle galerie parisienne. Un rêve — je ne trouve pas les mots pour l’exprimer. J’ai décidé de persévérer hors de cette zone de confort, et de réaliser ces neuf portraits sans mes outils traditionnels, peintures à l’huile et panneaux de bois, mais avec ceux qui sont à ma disposition à la ferme à Ussy : cartons de semence et bombes de peinture.
J’ai choisi d’honorer ces neuf femmes, héroïnes effrontées de ma jeunesse, pour leur courage, leur beauté, leur histoire
A Brief History
I moved permanently to rural France in 2009. For Love. At the time, I never could have imagined how far outside of my comfort-zone I would soon find myself. Putting aside all of the normal cultural differences of language and daily rhythms, I didn't realize that the biggest hit to my psyche would be that the traditional painted portrait went out of fashion just after the victorious severing of the Kings head. The tradition fell out of favor, to the point that no searches of mine in the last several years turned up even one living French painter willing to label themselves as a portraitist.
I am a traditional portraitist.
Nearly 10 years later, I've been given my first solo exhibit at a beautiful gallery in Paris...a dream beyond any words I can find. I decided to continue marching outside of this comfort-zone, completing these nine portraits not with my old school traditional oils and wood panels, but with the materials I have available to me on the farm in Ussy, seed cartons and spraypaint.
I chose to honor these 9 women, the brazen females of my youth, for their courage, their beauty, their stories.
| Art and Life - 2015
Life has been very busy in my studio and on the farm... along with the daily schedule of painting, we built a Bio-Gaz system that takes the green compost of the fields and mixes it with the cow shit to produce clean gas... now we supply home gas to the 900 people in our village. It has been our personal protest to Dick Cheney's gang who came into France trying to introduce "fracking'... France has now forbidden fracking.
This is supposed to be a painting blog (ha!) ... the biggest change in my studio has been the materials I've been starting to expirement with .. spraypaint and farming equipment containers. They make strangly comfortable partners with the traditional portrait. All my life I have followed the Baltimore Realists technique of oil on Masonite, using a Maroger medium. But all around me is grafittied walls and buildings, trapped in by tractors and farming equipment. When a piece of equipment or supplies arrive on the farm, they are contained in thick, gorgeous cartons that I have begun to stabilize and prep for archival canvases. The dirty, often oil stained cartons have gotten me to loosen my realist grip and free up my inner art student. The use of spray paint , (Bombes in French) has sent me on a wild chase to find my place in the brave new world of street art ... I'll let you know how that goes ...
As some of you may already know, we open a bedroom and studio space every year to artists, writers and musicians who are looking for quiet time to work or reflect. These rural residencies last from two weeks to three months. We have one opening for next fall. Contact me for details if you are interested.
| The Beauty of Ussy -
quickly, and my studio is full of
drawings and paintings ready to be
packed and shipped for exhibit in
I've been working
on this new series, Le Modèle en
France, (The Figure in
France) for more than a year.
For this new series, I looked to my
immediate surroundings for
inspiration, the women of Ussy.
who come to the farm to help, the
other mothers at school, the women I
see everyday in my tiny village.
Each of these women know the farm very
well, they walk the dirt roads and
cross the fields for pleasure or
work. They see what I see, the
expanse of yellow canola and the soft
curves of the cattles back. I
asked them to imagine soaring over the
fields, and they each posed in my
studio while envisioning themselves
floating above the landscape. We
worked together, day after day, month
after month, to bring an idea back to
Annapolis of the incredible beauty
that is the women of Ussy.
If you are in
Annapolis in November, come see me at
49 West Café.
in Ussy - Winter 2011
settled into the life in Ussy, working
in my studio and trying to restart the
French Portrait Revolution.... it
begins to take shape this
revolution.... I have been invited to
exhibit in several very nice salons
and I am currently showing in Jouarre
in honor of the writings of the women
of Brie in the 18th century. I still
do portrait work in the States, flying
back twice a year to work with the
commissions... I continue to study a
bit every day, now having access to
more of the French school of thought,
and it is inspiring me and pushing me
in a few different directions.
|Studio Moved to France -
June 2009, I moved permanently to the
Ussy sur Marne, France.
travel back to the states frequently
for portrait and gallery work, and to
see my loving family and friends.
visit the Annapolis Collection Gallery
on West Street, The Framer's Vise
Gallery, and La Petite Gallery on
Maryland Ave. And, when in France, try
to visit Galerie Cardo des Arts
Contemporain in Reins, Champagne.
Portrait - Spring 2008
||In February of last
year, Kendel Ehrlich asked me to paint
her Official Portrait for the Governor's
Mansion in Annapolis, Maryland. Each
time a Govenor leaves office, his
official portrait is painted and hangs
permanently in the State House. The
First Ladies also each have their
portraits painted and the large
collection of these hang permanently in
Government House, the official resident
of the Govenor of Maryland and his
Kendel Ehrlich was a wonderful subject,
a very generous spirit. The story behind
her portrait is complex and interesting,
with the focus on capturing a portrait
that is telling of her time as the First
Lady of Maryland. The portrait will be
on view later this Spring, in the public
rooms of Government House.
Biennale - Winter 2007
||I was honored in the
middle of last year to be invited to exhibit
in the 2007 Florence Biennale, in Florence,
Italy. In December, JF and I left the farm in
Ussy and made the overnight train trip into
Florence. The Biennale brings together
painters, sculptors and contemporary visual
artists from all over the world. The President
of Italy was in attendance for the opening
ceremonies, and each day of the eight day
exhibit brought scholars to hold discussions
and lectures pertaining to modern art. A small
group of friends from Annapolis came to Italy
to share the festivities. Brian and Sarah
Cahalan from 49 West Cafe' and Bret Mingo and
his girlfriend Sandy arrived the day of the
opening ceremonies, and we ate and drank our
way across the city of Florence.
Dave Wright, (Annapolis and Montreal) is the
benefactor responsible for getting the whole
project off the ground and running. Many
The photo is the group of us in front of my