Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg A Fierce Advocate for Woman's Rights

 As part of my portrait presentation "A Tribute to American Women Leaders" I am also presenting a more in depth back ground of each leader along with the portrait creative process.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020), a giant for women's rights, will be  sadly missed. 
Ginsburg is remembered for being the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court and as a pioneering advocate fighting for women's rights, including health care and equal opportunity.
Over her 27 years on the court, she was known as a champion of progressive causes and a "Jurist of Historic Stature."
 "My Mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independant." Ruth Bader Ginsburg
 Ruth Bader Ginsburg,  20 x 16  oil on linen    Collection of the artist    
    Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that             will lead others to join you.”           Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ginsburg was one of only nine women in her class at Harvard Law School.  It was a time in the world where it was lawful to treat women as less than men. Just as an example of the attitude around women at the time, a few years after she finished her law degree at Columbia Law School, Chief Justice Earl Warren’s Supreme Court upheld, unanimously, the state of Florida’s exclusion of women from jury service because a “woman is still regarded as the center of home and family life.

 Her career is a shining example of proving that attitude wrong, and she worked throughout her career to make sure all women had equal access to their career of choice.

 Before becoming a Supreme Court Justice, she argued six cases before the high court, winning five, all with a husband and two children at home.


I decided to  paint the Justice straight on in a head and shoulders pose, as I think that is what people envision when they think of  Ruth Bader Ginsburg...not her body structure, but  that intense, unflinching face, meeting straight on what ever challenge.

In my research for the portrait I saw that the Associate Justice also wore Jabots so I decided to add this for added compositional interest.  On the far left is the first days oil wash in and in the middle image is the portrait further developed with the reference photos on either side. I usually have a black and white reference photo to work from and it helps to show the true values.  I also thought that the  rich red/crimson background was fitting for Ginsburg's spirit.
  On the far right is the finished 20 x 16 oil on linen portrait.


 To see more on my portrait series  "A Tribute to American Women Leaders" check out my other blog posts and to see more of my oil portraits visit my website:

Thursday, January 16, 2020

A Tribute to American Women Leaders

                                                     Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Woman leaders need to be acknowledged! 

A revelation came to me while working in the Studio that woman's leadership in American history needs to be  recognized and honored.

 I am inspired to begin a series of oil portraits of exceptional American woman.

 These women were and are brave, determined, passionate and visionary...they are leaders!

 Woman that come to mind are Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Amelia Earhart, Olivia de Havilland, Helen Coley Nauts, Sonya Sotomayor, Rosa Parks, Toni Morrison, Susan B. Anthony,  Clara Barton, Dolores Huerta and Oprah Winfrey to name a few.

For these honorary portraits I will carefully research these distinguished  and exceptional woman.
Each oil on linen portrait will be carefully composed considering significant details, color, composition and the most relevant time in their lives to be painted.

 I have had the honor of being commissioned to paint Helen Coley Nauts, an advocate and visionary in the field of early Cancer Immunology and painted Gloria Steinem, a ground breaking woman's rights advocate, Catherine Lorillard Wolfe, a major philanthropist and supporter of child welfare, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor a champion of equal rights.


Helen Coley Nauts                            Gloria Steinem                      Sonia Sotomayor
            Collection Cancer Research Institute               Collection Ms. Foundation      Collection Southern District Court New York

                                Catharine Lorillard Wolfe    Collection Grace Church New York

Above are images of these portraits which can also be viewed in larger images on my website: 

As a tribute to American Woman Leaders I will begin a series of oil on linen  portraits which will ranged between 14 x 18 inches to 20 x 24 inches.

I will start this exciting project with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, a fierce and dedicated advocate for the advancement of gender equality and women's rights.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg has shaped the course of our nations' history through her convictions and voice for dissent. In 1993 she was the second woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Below shows the development of my oil portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

On the left is the first days quick block-in-wash intended to layout the composition and create a base to build the portrait on. The middle image shows the portrait more developed and the reference photos I used for the portrait.  I always use a black and white photo (along with color photograph if available), for value reference.
In my research for the portrait I saw that the Associate Justice also wore Jabots so I decided to add this for added compositional interest. On the far right is the finished 20 x 16 oil on linen portrait. I also thought that the  rich red/crimson background was fitting for Ginsburg's spirit.

I am now moving forward with my project of portraits of American Woman Leaders. I have started oil portraits of Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Dolores Huerta, Olivia de Havilland, Oprah Winfrey, and Amelia Earhart.

 I will be adding these finished oil portraits to this post in the near future.

To see more of my portraiture please visit my website: