Ione Citrin - Contemporary Impressionistic Portrait and Figurative Painter: female, feminine, impressionistic, women, girls, ladies, nudes, oil and acrylic paintings
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"Whippets" - He liked taking pictures with his new camera. He carried it with him all the time He especially liked taking candid shots of various people he happened upon. It became his way of singling them out for eternity. They were all surprised that he took their picture, yet pleased that he sought their particular image out to memorialize with his camera. He particularly liked taking candid shots of women. He would go into ladies dress stores and casually aim at a particular woman who caught his fancy.
This time he was in the ladies shoe department of a large department store. He first noticed the dogs and then saw the beautiful woman trying on scads of shoes. This was a real find! He whipped his trusty camera out and caught her with one single blast of light. This one interested him, and he patiently waited until she was through with her purchase to follow her outside the store snapping pictures along the way. She never noticed. Too bad.
"The Grotto" - Whitney came to the beach at night when she could be alone with her thoughts. She always went to the same spot that particularly appealed to her. An area behind a strange looking building. Everything was deserted, dark, and quiet except for the roll of the waves. She would get lost in her reverie. One night she discovered a tiny cave behind a shallow waterfall on the beach. She peered into it using her flashlight.
There appeared to be a strange "thing" placed all the way to the back of the cave. She stared at this object for some time until she finally realized it was some kind of religious statue. She was fascinated. It seemed to call out to her, but then so did the strange house. She looked back at the building behind her, scouring it with the flashlight. It looked like a weird temple of sorts. A shiver went down her spine; she was cold and very tired. Dressing quickly she decided she would get Josh to come back with her. He would know what to do.
"The Long Wait" - The bordello was slow that night. Matrice knew that Mr. Jackson was due to arrive. She had been waiting for hours. Her boss signed her out so that she could wait for her "Mr. Jackson", so there she sat in the room he had requested, waiting for him. She had on the hat he bought her. He insisted on her wearing the hat whenever he visited her. She would keep it on throughout their meeting, as long as possible. Mr. Jackson was very late. Matrice was used to waiting. Her whole life was spent waiting for others to tell her what to do; Mr. Jackson was just another dictator. My stories continue in my head...Ione Citrin
"Thoughts" - She went by the home every day at 5:00 P.M. She walked there after her last class at school. She brought her offering, a handful of flowers, from her garden. She would pause at the front of the house and wish she could go in, wishing for the past that didn't exist anymore. They were dead. Gone. Leaving her totally alone in the world. She missed them terribly. She felt empty and alone, wishing she could go back to the happy times in their home. She would stand, frozen in memories. Eventually her ritual would end and she would trudge away, exhausted with memories.
"The Fisherman" - He rose out of the sea like a God carrying fish. He was beautiful. Blond, muscular, strong. The site of him took her breath away. Marci often came to this beach, it was usually deserted. Today it wasn't. She watched him through half closed eyes as he prepared the fish and gathered his belongings. The boat he was on slowly left the shore for another run, and all the fisherman on board yelled their "g'byes". Marci began to daydream all sorts of thoughts as he slowly disappeared toward the parking lot.
Yes, she was attracted to him; she was attracted to all good looking men. She closed her eyes and continued her daydreams in the hot sun. Daydreams were easier than reality. The sun warmed her very bones. It was relaxing, soothing, penetrating. Her mind drifted along with the crash of the waves inventing all sorts of imaginary meetings and situations with him and other men. The afternoon passed, and a sudden chill in the wind reminded her that it was time to leave the beach and go back to her apartment. "Tomorrow is another day", she whispered. "Tomorrow is another day."
"Spectrum" - A collage representing man through the ages. The nude man reflects some of his inside organs representing his vulnerability. He is holding on to a Gucci watch; marking time. The coliseum to the right of him is still standing, the rock star to the upper left of him is probably dead from an overdose of drugs. Notice he is positioned in front of Las Vegas, where he did his last gig. The native woman dancing underneath him is in the throes of a ritualistic dance. There are skulls of her ancestors underneath her feet. A conglomeration representing various facets of modern man.
"Rhapsody" - The ecstasy of conducting a full symphonic orchestra in one of the classics has to be orgiastic. But then the ecstasy of creating anything is orgiastic. Whatever you do that requires work, thought, effort, concentration, determination, and the full deliverance of self into the project is "ecstasy". I reach my pinnacle with each and every piece of art I create and deliver to you, my audience.
"Night at the Opera" - I developed a taste for classical music and opera early on. I took piano and ballet lessons for years, studying and practicing only this genre of music. For many years I went to the Civic Opera House in Chicago to enjoy their various productions. Now I have a reserved seat in Los Angeles at the Lyric Opera. I love the music and elaborate productions. I leave humming (off-key) some of the passages, wishing I could carry a note, let alone sing like a bird. I've seen operatic productions all over Europe, and felt very "special" doing so. "Night at the Opera" is reminiscent of a wonderful evening spent listening and enjoying this particular genre.
"Prima Ballerina" - One of my many dreams is to see the Russian Ballet in Russia. I studied ballet for many years and even danced professionally, so it has been a solid interest of mine. Yes, I have seen the Russian ballet perform here in the U.S., but never in Russia. So, this year, to realize this dream my husband and I are going to St. Petersburg, Russia where we shall see the Russian Ballet perform "Sleeping Beauty"! And, the best part is all the beautiful Russian Art on view at the many museums in St. Petersburg and Moscow. So, I'm putting my "gone fishin'" sign up for a few weeks, and I'll see you again in September.
"Moved to Dance" - The Oakville Dance Club was formed forty years ago, and the "girls" are still dancing today. Here is a portrait of the original members, the first three are Mary Jenson, Marlene Fox, Judy Witson, and the last two in the back are Lila Fonsworth and Mimi Farston.
These ladies, now in their eighties, are still dancing! They meet one a week in the same park to do their little routine. Judy brings a cassette player for the music, and every week someone brings tidbits to munch and thermoses of peppermint tea to sip after their dance workout. Time has worn gently on these women, and because of their discipline in dance and diet, and commitment to each other, no tragedies were too big to overcome.
They all look their best for their "performance", wearing make-up and pretty dresses and styling their hair. The original costumes shown in this painting are long-gone, but their new ones are very nice. Every week a small audience gathers; neighbors, passerbys, stray dogs, etc., and everyone enjoys their repertoire. They try to work up a new routine every month, but lately they've just been sticking to the same routines they've done for years. We salute these members of the Oakville Dance Club and wish them well as they enter their 70th year of performance.
"The Toe Dancer" - She was broke, she was alone, and she was "on the street" when she discovered she could make a living at this dance club. It was totally against her Christian upbringing, she knew her parents would have a fit if they ever found out. They thought she was still at school, plugging away to get good grades.
"Be a good girl", her mother said when she left home after the Christmas holidays. Those four words agitated Jeanine. She didn't want to be mother's "good girl". She wanted to be whatever she wanted to be. She wanted to live her own life, make her own discoveries, and get out from under her mother's thumb. She wanted to do what she wanted to do, good or bad.
And, right now, she felt lucky that she had found this glamorous job and would be able to pay for her "space on her friend's couch" for the time being. The whole world was waiting for her, waiting to be discovered, and she was flying high with anticipation.
She wore a red hat so her blind date would recognize her in their prescribed meeting place, La Louvre, Paris, France.
"The Red Hat" - Alexa wore the red hat just as she promised. She was on time and in the prearranged place in the Museum. So far her blind date hadn't materialized. He was a half hour late. "Oh, well," she thought, "Maybe he got hung up in traffic". An hour went by, then two hours. Her feet began to hurt standing around in those spike heels. She had perspiration marks on her new blouse. The hat got real heavy. She looked at her watch. "45 minutes late", she said silently.
Finally, with a sigh, she turned and began to walk toward the entrance when a short, fat greasy looking man blustered through the revolving doors and ran to where she had been standing, (the prearranged spot). "This is what I got dressed for, went downtown, paid the entrance fee to a museum I've visited 100 times, and waited an hour for "Mr. Right"? "Ye gads, girl, give it up already", and she marched out.
"The Red Shoes" - Gilda was a child of privilege. Her family tree could be traced back to the Rothschild's of European fame and fortune. She was raised with governesses, private European schools, the best of everything. But everything wasn't enough for Gilda. She became addicted to hard drugs and heavy partying in the posh clubs all over the world. She was the "toast" of the town in whatever town she happened to be.
When her maid discovered her dead body, it didn't really come as a surprise to her friends and family. They could have predicted this outcome early on. They put on somber faces, buried her, and liquidated her finances into their own. Her memory was put aside in the "distasteful memories" album, and nothing more was ever mentioned about Gilda.
Her friends missed her for about a minute. There were "other Gilda's" to be found, chomping at the bit for entry into their social arenas. And so, the parties continued without Gilda, her family quickly shoved her in the "hush-hush" closet, and the world turned with a lot of unanswered questions. C'est la vie. "Tsk-Tsk" no real tears, no real vibes, just a quick appearance on the scene with an equally rushed exit. What a sad obituary.
"Pony Express" - I love miniature horses and as a child dreamed of owning one. I sometimes fantasize about owning one now were I to have a back yard big enough. But it at this stage of the game, it is only a pipe dream. Because I adore these animals and come from Chicago, Illinois where the winters look like this, I was driven to paint this scene. I should call this "Wishful Thinking".
The Midnight Messenger" - This was not exactly what Marla studied for in college. She was going for her Masters Degree in Theatre Arts, but her parents couldn't fund her anymore. They lost a lot in the financial downturn a few years ago, and so everyone in the family was cutting back. When she saw the ad on Craig's List, she knew she'd be perfect for the job. They wanted someone who was an experienced horsewoman, an expert rider and handler of horses, and someone who would look good in a special suit that came with a long cape. "Willing to begin work at midnight for approximately 3 hours, or until the deliveries were done" the ad stated.
"Sure, why not? I can do it", she thought. The pay was good and the work didn't interfere with her classes at UCLA. She was an expert horsewoman having ridden since she was a child, and she was still riding on a weekly basis.
She was hired immediately, as soon as she swished in on her long legs and flipped her pony tail around.
She reported in to the stable every night after midnight, and finished when she had dropped off the last envelope. Sometimes she only had one packet to deliver, so she could be through within the hour. Her territory was west Los Angeles. She would cantor throughout Westwood, Beverly Hills, Bel Air; wherever the package was addressed, and drop it near the front door or under the front gate. It was a bright red package with a little battery driven hooter that buzzed every minute until it was picked up. No problem with dogs, they avoided the sound the package made, and the buzzing stopped when the package was unwrapped. The recipients were notified beforehand that the delivery would be made, specifying the date and time of delivery, so they were ready for pick up.
Marla was thrilled with the job. Her parents were skeptical. Her friends were amazed and jealous. She was paid on an hourly basis and could work whenever she was called upon, which usually was 4 nights a week. Her rides caused quite a blast all over the West side, and she received a lot of publicity. She was known as "The Messenger", and newspaper and magazine articles were delighted to write about her unusual job. She could be seen galloping alongside the traffic on the streets of her area, her cape spread out behind her, waving to the cars and pedestrians as she sped by. She loved it, and became known as the "Midnight Messenger".
Long after the company folded, she set up her own messenger company, continuing her happy rides throughout the area, waving and smiling to passersby.
"Gweniviere" - Gweniviere loved going barefoot in the grass. There was a large area outside her castle, filled with flowers and grasses of all sorts. She would ride her trusty steed far out into the plains and hills and the two of them would cavort in the sunshine and beauty of a summer day.
Some days a young lad from a neighboring castle would ride by and their eyes would catch. He looked as powerful as the black horse he rode. Completely controlling and dominate. She didn't know who he was, or what family estate he belonged to, or how to find out anything about him, so she satisfied herself with coming to this patch of green next to the trail and waiting for him to trot by every day that summer.
Then the summer cooled and passed and the cold weather arrived. When the heavy snows came Gweniviere couldn't take her daily ride any more. She patiently waited for spring, and yielding trails. Spring finally arrived and with great expectation she out to see if he would appear again. She waited all day, then all the next day. The summer slowly passed. He never showed again. He remained only as a dream; a handsome sight on a beautiful horse in the sunshine of her youth.
"Mommie Dearest" - The cruel mother, stiff, unrelenting, unloving, making her innocent daughter cry and cry and cry. Unfortunately women who are not mentally equipped to love and cherish their offspring have children who are subjected to their mother's damaging attitudes.
"Masquerade" - A decorative painting of a beautiful young woman's face with Mardi Gras embellishments. I love to depict beautiful women in romantic/surrealist settings in my paintings and sculptures. I let the mystery slowly evolve and invent itself as I begin my painting/sculpture. I had the opportunity to visit Mardi Gras in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as well as New Orleans, and the fervent colors and beauty stayed in my mind and eventually came out in this painting.
"Contemplation" - "Shall I do this, or that?", Race thought. "Will it be him or her?" His decisions were monumental, life threatening, overwhelming. Race's mind raced over the various options of his life. He was frozen in the insecurity of indecision. "What to do?"
Actually Race was in the torment of a hell he had foisted upon himself. He knew when he was doing right and he knew when he was doing wrong. It was that impulsive insecurity which made him go down that first choice. He never weighed a second or third choice until after the fact. By then it was too late. Now he was embroiled in the fitful embrace of turbulent choices. It was exhausting. He couldn't come to a conclusion at this time. He decided to put everything "on the back burner", and meditate again after a good night's sleep.
Many sleeping pills later, Race was still tossing and turning, his mind and dreams running at full speed. He took a few more pills, hoping for the warm emptiness of sleep. After a while he drifted into a slumber from which he would never awake, but his decision-making was over. He had decided to do this instead of that.
"Separation" - The art of painting (or photography) freezes moments in time. That is the beauty of these art mediums, freezing a moment for all to gaze and contemplate. If it is a landscape we try to recognize the locale and decided whether or not we've been there. If it is a still life we relate to all the fruit/vegetable settings we've ever seen. Even unrecognizable abstracts record a still moment.
In "The Separation", the questions are; what was really happening? Who are these people? What is their conflict? You decide. The painting has no conclusion, only the painful act of separation.
"The Huntress" - Jennie didn't know why she was doing what she was doing. She felt stupid standing naked, holding a pole, in front of a group of people drawing her picture. She was angry at herself and her vanity.
Last year after she had her breast enlargement surgery, and discovered her beautiful breasts, she wanted to show them to "everyone". So, taking an early morning stroll, she walked by an art school and decided to go in and apply for a modeling job. She thought she would love being admired and painted by various artists. Today, at the actual job, she discovered she didn't.
She stuck it out, (literally and figuratively), until the end of the three hour class, and quickly left. Feeling ashamed Jennie decided not to tell any of her mahjong group or flower club about this adventure.
"Laila" - This is what she looked like last year. You wouldn't want to see what she looks like today. She fell in love with the wrong man, a man her family didn't approve of...a Jew...a married Jew...a black Jew.
She stayed with him against her family's wishes and threats. Finally one night her brothers, Jamal and Ahmed, came and got her at gunpoint, took her away from her forbidden lover and cut her ears and nose off. She lay bleeding on the dirt road. Eventually she was discovered and brought to the local doctor. He did what he could and sent her home. Terrible infections followed, but the village she lived in was in a remote mountainous area far from any sophisticated medical services.
Her mother did her best, but Laila needed sophisticated care. Unbelievably she lived, her outside and insides severely damaged. She stayed in the shack with her family; there was nothing else she could do. Her brothers suffered no remorse; they were righteous in their attack. Her parents never mentioned it and her mother hide all mirrors from her. Her former lover moved to Israel, afraid to ever contact her again. Islamic law rules.
Lovely mid-eastern woman daydreams in her garden window. This piece won a Gold Medal in the Amsterdam Art, "Nielson Bainbridge" competition.
"Shahrzad" was motivated by my intense love of beauty, and a beautiful woman dressed up is extremely decorative. It was easy to create. I have a big imagination and a studio harboring a huge supply of paper scraps and junk in general. I began "Shahrzad" with the face. I photocopied and enlarged the face of a lovely model pictured in a fashion magazine. Then I painted the hair with thick acrylic paint. The rest of her evolved as all my works do, with "trial and error, cut and paste, and do it over and over with something else".
Her breasts are covered with bubble wrap, there are clips from an Arabic newspaper in the window, her body is painted in acrylic, and the rest are bits and pieces of paper gleaned from magazines/newspapers/books, etc. cut and pasted on the large surface of the painting.
It took many months of gestation, and then finally, "Shahrzad" was born.
I show her in various art shows and galleries and in 1999 she won the $3,000 "Nielson Bainbridge Gold Medal" - Mixed Media Category, Judged by Roy De Forest, San Francisco, CA
"Black Tie Affair" - When my daughter married many photographs were taken during the wedding and reception. This is one as they danced alone sharing their private thoughts. It has a special place in my home and the setting inspired me to do this painting.
"Dark Eyes" - Who is the lovely young woman in the portrait? Why is the picture slanted and surrounded by flowing drapery? The porcelain sculpture of the goose looks brand new. But this place has been deserted for years! The adjoining window opens onto an elaborate landscape. But the whole room is completely dust and dirt free. Wouldn't the wind blow leaves and dust and dirt into the room? I'll leave you to figure it out, in the meantime, enjoy "Dark Eyes", a painting out of my deep mysterious mind, created for no rhyme or reason other than my love of painting.