Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gracious Lindsey

Aaaah! Today was the first day EVER a non family member posed for me. It was SO intense an experience...for me, at least. Before kind and gracious Lindsey even got here I was nervous. Nervous excitement is what the Amazing Reese calls it. Whatever, I was about to jump out of my skin.

Gracious Lindsey, even if she wasn't on the inside, seemed super relaxed, and sat as still as an apple. She was the perfect model.

During a particularly quiet moment in the studio, Lindsey calmly asked if, as an artist, I felt the tug between compulsion and inspiration. It's a very good question. Am I inspired to paint? Yes. Am I compelled to paint? Yes. Because I'm compelled, sometimes inspiration follows. Sometimes, it doesn't, but strangely, I'm still compelled to paint. Sometimes, inspiration comes first, and then I'm compelled to do my part until inspiration is satisfied.

For this painting, it wasn't until the background was added in that the painting started to come together. That green wall in the studio bounces colors around, and suddenly, it became apparent that Lindsey had some of the same green in her skin. Not in real life, her skin doesn't have green streaks in it, but when the green was added in certain places on her skin, the painting seemed complete. It was a personal revelation.

Next time, I'll also close the curtain a bit to keep some of the harshness of the sun off the face. Lindsey is naturally softer than I painted her to be. I'm choosing to blame it on the sun.

One thing that keeps going around and around in my mind is how will this project proceed? And how will it end? So far, none of these paintings are the same size. Each portrait subject has demanded different parameters. Not verbally, of course, but each person exudes a different energy if you will, and therefore, up to this point, I've used different canvases according to what seemed appropriate at the time.

Does this portrait project require that all the portraits be painted on the same size canvas for the sake of continuity? Technically, "a series" is all painted with continuity in mind. Should I restrict myself artistically? Should I limit myself based on boundaries of canvas size? It's definitely something to consider.

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