CHARLOTTE, or: Girl With Apple


Charlotte:  Girl With Apple  (oil on canvas, c. 12X12 inches. Portrait by B Sparhawk)

DSCF8496Detail 1, Portrait of Charlotte

And whom, you may well ask is this heavenly Charlotte?

She is the love of the sister of a friend of me the portrait painter.

DSCF8504Detail 2, Portrait of Charlotte

And you may well wonder too what is the apple doing next to the beautiful dog.

There is an explanation of sorts for that.

DSCF8502Detail 3, Portrait of Charotte

It arises from a painting of a boy, (not (so you know) by Czech master Johannes Van Hoytl the Younger ~~who does not exist~~ but by the lovely English painter, Michael Taylor, who is alive.  With an apple) known and feverishly described all over the internet as “Boy With Apple”.

DSCF8497Portrait of Charlotte, in the Studio

Has any painting we may wonder had such an effect on the public since the spark of life between Adam and God, or that interesting Dutch fellow’s sunflowers.

I was amazed, when I looked at some point, that it was definitely not just me taking note but a chunk of the universe.  Do you know this work?

OR IS IT POSSIBLE  that some one or 2 among you may not have seen the marvelous “GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL”  movie.

A Wes Anderson film with a fabulous cast (listed below in tags) and thrillingly delish story acted out in a kind of Chaplin-marionette brilliance of unreal people borrowing randomly from history and human behavior, an emphasis equally on: purity, rough fellows, innocence, crippled shoe-shine boy, attentive clever lobby boy and servants, a funicula, politics, soldiers, and wicked gangsterism.

And luxurious settings but also a harsh prison.

And money coming and going.

Of course a nicely done painting.

And pastry to die for (plus the recipe).

The movie’s underlying roundabout goes dashing in and out of the inheriting in, thieving of, related murdering related to, loss and gain of loves and lives and property and most especially…focused on a portrait done in fine Renaissance style  by a modern artist, called:  “BOY WITH APPLE”.

At first blush I  fell in love with the movie and the painting.  I have checked it out of the local library DVD collection to keep watching it,  about 25 times so far.

That painting effected (subconsciously and quite out loud) any number of canvases I painted afterward for months, but none so especially or delightfully or movingly or filled with pleasure for me as this ~~suddenly (in real-time and real life) by surprise commissioned portrait of Charlotte.  Who is, as said earlier, the love of the life of the sister of a dear friend.

I was struck at once by Charlotte’s medieval cathedral palazzo civilized wavy elegant good looks.  I knew that there would appear stone walls and columns and breezed-up draperies and lace hankies and dragonflies in profusion and twilight glow and small romantic freshly plucked bouquets and an offering on a Merano hand blown glass thingy which turned (very nearly of its own accord) from a toy ball to an apple.

Here is a bit more on the portrait & principals.   Click here

And about the film.  Click here.

And about Michael Taylor, painter:  Click here


…If anyone is interested in a storytale portrait of their animals or offspring or loved ones or something fancied, do let me know.  

It’s what I do.


will do the trick nicely. As with Charlotte I work chiefly or entirely with photographs.

I promise to respond.

Tickled pink you’ve stopped by.






Magnolia, goodThese are old and new paintings I made weeks or years ago but nonetheless this spring’s bouquet. White IrisBrush a petal past your winter’s cheek today, drink it in.Trevor's Treasure Island, bright full

I must say my interest in painting flowers does not diminish.  Nor is it becoming a bore of routine. Petunia, wane, new There is endless surpriseFlowers and Moth Caught in the Wind to colors laid next to each other, the weight of pigment, the rush to the senses from it. Iris, Nasturtium in RainThe way the inside of a white petal will steep down into gray shadow, the electrifying incandescence of light on its interior from a spot of sun, Hummingbird On Targetthe brackish green/black soil at its base and the shock of lavender deepest inside which cannot be from any less than the joy of being alive. And that’s only one flower! Red Tulip, Lalique Bottle, 1One swoosh of a velvet petal, one darting cluster of color having the power to fascinate, to probe every sense of its observer.

Apple Pie Ridge PoppiesGardens the hemisphere over are coming to life once more. Flower Vase, edit topSpring siren’s call is on. Banner, Sunflower croppedAnd the human, animal, insect, reptile heart lifted by its power.

Tropic Horse, fullLADY BUG VOYAGERLittle Ladybug Sunset WatchOriginal Oil Painting by Expressionist Artist Barbara Sparhawk



Kittens At The Beach

Kittens At The Beach, The Bird Watchers (Detail – oil on linen)

The original oil painting is slightly larger. I’m likely going to be doing more work before it’s really done but I’m very pleased with the way it’s progressing.

The kittens are George Jones and Tammy Wynette. I worked from a photograph of them taken inside their house at the moment the curtains were drawn back and the view of a thousand birds was in front of them. I moved them to the beach, invented a carved winged-lion chair, added the usual indulgences provided to kittens, including but not exclusively, wavy fabric, beach umbrella, insects, birds, bugs, torn slipper, and more. Great experience to work on. I’ll post the finished painting within the next few weeks.

The Gallery is Dead Long Live the Gallery

Delighted to report on things remaining the same…and VASTLY improved….along with the fine drama of change.

The new gallery, THE HAWKS PERCH III, is now up and running in beautious Carmel Valley.  Despite petulant volunteering of directions from the old Big Sur locale, I am being re-discovered in the new digs the intrepid and faithful. It’s wonderful here, painting sales are brisk, new students for the pen and ink classes, and a beautiful gallery to show my work and welcome visitors.

I’m off Carmel Valley Road by just a few feet, it’s called Robinson Canyon Road, six miles east from the splendid coastal town of Carmel. Lovely group of small old western wooden buildings painted barn red and trimmed in white. We’re bordered by meadows, Carmel Valley River, beautiful gardens, Buddhist Temple, Episcopalian church (and someone doing lovely call to the faithful chimes on Sundays), and Carmel Valley’s most famous asset, perpetual sunshine.

Come visit, see all the new paintings (dragonflies, hummingbirds, ladybugs, bees, butterflies, oceans, stormy skies) and stop in on Tuesdays 5-6 pm for the pen and ink drawing classes. I look forward to seeing all the old friends, and welcoming the new ones. THE HAWKS PERCH III is ready to rock. And it’s true, the really good stuff never dies.