I love blue midday skies, young and old faces, twisted trees, and the way light plays across meadows and bays. I love to tell people’s stories, their history, their loves, their place in nature. I paint because I have the compulsion to create, and oil paint is to me the most beautiful and luxurious of mediums.

I believe a good oil painting should be able to be viewed from far away, and as one comes closer it should become more abstract, not more detailed. I appreciate the color and loose brush strokes of the Impressionists, but I also believe that if it’s in the shadow it should be dark.
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Blair Updike: Painter of Portraits and Landscapes


Blair Updike embodies contrasts.

Her portraits portray the interesting stories and personalities of subjects who are frequently off-beat and non-conformist characters.

“I see stories in faces,” she says.  “My inspiration comes from the subject, not from within myself.”

But Blair’s landscapes are more likely to reflect stillness, peace and solitude.

“I love how light creates a mood; the source, direction and intensity of light are an integral part of the painting.”

Blair has the aspect of an innocent Danish schoolgirl but she’s the one who’s more likely to ask “why,” rather than “how.”  Her personality blends tradition with rebellion and she can be alternately bashful and feisty.  She admires genuineness and dislikes pretension.

Though formally trained, Blair’s been painting professionally less than two years.  She idolizes portrait artist David Leffel called the “modern Rembrandt” with whom she was recently privileged to study.

Craftsmanship, quality and technique are all important aspects of a good painting but the subject’s the thing and at the end of the day Blair’s test is, “It has to make sense to me.”