In this past year I have been drawn to painting my friends and family. I paint from photos. I think I like them because they connect me to past moments. That is why I like the snap shot instead of an official looking portrait.
I am currently working on a double portrait of an aunt and cousin of mine. For me it’s nostalgic. It’s from a visit we had when I was a child. I found it looking through old photos. I don’t remember what was going on at the time but my connection to the people in the portrait draws me in.
Kristin’s Valentine to Life
I painted this portrait of my friend Kristin. I am constantly inspired by her and feel so fortunate to be her friend. Below is her description of her struggles but also, I hope, a testament to what she has overcome.
Was very ill and had several unsuccessful surgeries. Gradually lost ability to walk, developed cerebellum damage, and went into organ failure. After a final life-saving surgery in 2014, have been in recovery, relearning how to walk and function. Because was so ill, recovery included developing epilepsy. Very frequent seizures caused further damage in left temporal lobe, making it impossible to continue 12-year career in international development and so changed careers. Currently an LMT in WV.
For me, sometimes things are more beautiful in process than they are finished. It’s about their potential. When I’m working on something I don’t know how it is going to turn out in the end. Sure, I have an idea and I might even be trying to emulate something I see. But there are endless decisions in the process of making art, and painting and drawing allow a lot of spontaneity.
I recently was inspired by my continuing education in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST) to paint snakes. I know that probably sounds like a big jump in topics. However, some of my classmates said that’s what they were seeing when they were receiving or giving BCST sessions.
The snakes below are Brazilian rainbow boas.
30×40 inches. Acrylic on canvas.
16×20 inches. Acrylic on canvas.
Recently, when I got back from Santa Fe I felt the urge to get back into painting. So I did about 7 fast paintings. Most of them were not great but I was excited that the trip got me going again because I mostly work in my sketch books. The first three paintings were still lives, then I did a couple portraits for my cousin’s engagement/wedding and I also did this depiction of a stuffed animal that I have. I think out of everything this was the most fun to paint because it was the simplest. I actually have repeatedly drawn or painted this elephant since college.
My painting spurt is over now, but I’m hoping that I will do more since I have some free time coming up. Maybe I’ll do something else with my elephant or portraiture.
I started working with watercolor studies about a month ago. It’s a pretty simple concept of letting watercolors mix and using washes as well as concentrated blobs of color. The challenge has been to take these studies and blow them up into acrylic paintings. In some cases I got the flow of imagery and in others I didn’t. Part of the fun is the transformation that switching mediums has on a concept though. In any case, I hope to find a place to display the work and in the meantime am happy to share the work here online.
Since abrupt flowers I’ve been working on exploring more about what acrylic can do. I’m mostly interested in layering colors and blending them. The painting with the flowers below was started the same week as the last post and helped me to get out some extra energy while exploring those ideas. If I’m able to have a show I’ll explore it more with the studies I started in watercolor…or maybe I’ll go ahead and do a series without a show. In any case I’m having fun working with bright colors and learning new techniques.
For some reason the election has moved me to paint flowers in really bold colors and really strong shapes reminiscent of the pop movement. The only reason I have for this is that I was feeling really emotional and needed something that I could paint fast. Or maybe this is just how I see things when I’m shocked.
So as I said I’ve been working with some screen printing. The top image is the same that I worked with for a series on paper. The image is of connecticut in Dupont. The other is of people I took a photo of in the metro. It may or may not be done. I’m hoping to have a show with these works at some point in the future. I just need to find a venue…maybe in DC.
I’m still working with screen printing and scenes from DC. This is the first of a number or panels I have on the scene. I’m finding that the way I doodle and collect images in my sketch book is coming out on this work. It’s fun to see it at a larger scale.