While raising three children in a busy household that included several cats and dogs, any salvageable free time was devoted exclusively to my painting. At first I regretted not taking a direct route to become a practicing artist while still in college. Eventually this gave way to the realization that acquiring an MA in English literature may have been beneficial since certain analytical skills were sharpened along the way.

As time passed these skills would later become intuitively useful when painting any subject, whether people or animals, especially when studying people to produce a solid portrait that would express each person’s nature. Apparently studies in the liberal arts served as a valuable complement to the visual arts.  Getting the essence of a subject’s personality and character down on paper or canvas makes a successful painting in the end.

Initially I studied landscape painting with George Peter for several years before intensive studies in portraiture and figure painting with Cesare Borgia at the Reilly League of Artists.

Fascination with the excitement of the ocean very quickly developed into deep interest trying to pin down the relentlessly changing “face” of the ocean with its constant movement and moods which are at once both beautiful and terrifying.  Watching the sea in all seasons for long hours at a time became a major activity ever since and is very important for my understanding and growth as a painter. For there is much to learn from being willing to pay close attention to lessons that the sea can teach.

 

The Way I Work

Painting from life is not always practical since not everyone has unlimited time to sit. I have found from experience that most people have a few favorite photographs that portray them as they see themselves in the ideal. It is important however to have other available photos taken from different angles. In this way it is better understood how each head is constructed as far as the relationship of the features in an individual’s face and how they fit together in order to paint the head in an accurate and pleasing manner. We talk about what the client has in mind generally and then in more detail so as to get a better sense of the person and what they are looking for.  Often before putting a brush to canvas a preliminary sketch is submitted for approval and/or a photo of the portrait at various stages of completion are transmitted via e-mail as requested by the client.

 

Pricing for Portraits and Giclees

There is no down payment asked as I prefer to be paid all at once upon completion to the satisfaction of the client. After all, the cost of materials is, in the long run, immaterially small compared to the time factor. 

Since each person has individual ideas as to how a work should be framed (and, in the case of a watercolor portrait, matted) selecting a frame is something that I will not become involved with and is best left to a professional framer. Therefore artwork is neither matted nor framed. But it will be packed in a safe manner to be shipped to the client if distance is a factor. Prices do not include packaging and shipping which will need to be added on to the initial price of the work itself.

Fees are more reasonable for portraits and figures than seascapes since they do not represent moving targets like the sea. Below is a general idea of what to expect upon inquiry. 

Watercolor Portrait Fees:

Head and Shoulders

9”x12”       $200
12”x16”      $300
14”x20”     $400

 

Oil Portrait Fees:

Head and Shoulders 

11”x14”        $1,200
14”x18”       $1,600
16”x20”     $2,000

 

Pet Portrait Fees in Watercolor:

Head, 8”x10” or 9”x12”      $150

 

Pet Portrait Fees in Oil:

Head, 8”x10”            $300                              continued above

Giclees available

Giclees are available for many Abbe images. Giclees can be printed on archival watercolor paper or on stretched, gallery wrapped canvas. The image quality (resolution) of the finished product is best if the giclee is reproduced at the same size as the actual painting, or smaller. 

Giclee on canvas includes wood stretcher and gallery wrap of image to 1 1/2” depth (with the image extended on all 4 sides). The finished piece will be ready to hang without framing.  

Giclee on watercolor paper is suitable for matting and framing as desired by customer. 

Examples of prices are as follows: 

Giclee on archival watercolor paper:

8 x 10:  $50
9 x 12:  $60
11 x 14: $75
12 x 18: $100
16 x 20: $140
18 x 24: $150
20 x 24: $160
24 x 30: $175
24 x 36: $200

Giclee on stretched, gallery wrapped canvas

8 x 10:  $75
9 x 12:  $100
11 x 14: $125
18 x 24: $150
20 x 24: $175
24 x 30: $250
24 x 36: $300

Paintings available for Giclee prints are as follows: 

PORTRAITS & FIGURES:
Pan With Pipe
French Bulldog, Bruce Wayne
Ginger: An Acquired Taste
King Charles Spaniel, Wasabi
Lulu
Ruby
Not Exactly Your Typical Fish

LANDSCAPE:
Catskills in Eary Spring
Ringwood Manor Study
Backyard in French Countryside
Mr. Turner’s Cottage
Puerto Rico
Glenora Falls
Duck Pond
Swimmin’ Around
Shad Trees
Gone Wild, Montauk

SEA & SKY:
Gull Ledge
Sailing in Still Waters
Montauk Access to Sea
Sunrise in Montauk
Sunrise
Dawn Breaking in Montauk
Gulls Hovering Over Sea
Gulls Over Choppy Seas
Sea & Surf Breaks on Rocks
Seascape (Montauk 2010)
Japanese Black Pine Sentinel
Montauk Surf
Dreaming of Montauk

FIRE & ICE:
Snowy Woods Near Dusk
Snowy Road
Cast a Giant Shadow
Path to Heathcote School
Birch Tree Weighted With Snow
Autumn Woods
Access to Beach With Snow Fence

 

Full length and multiple figures will be proportionately higher of course.  But it is important to know that, unless a canvas is very large, or the subject is in a seated pose, the head can be very small if the entire figure is painted. 

I will be happy to answer any questions you may have by phone. 

~  Nancy Abbe
914 - 723 - 1708