Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Portrait Series

Tea & Sympathy
I've started working on a series of portraits.  This time, as opposed to painting people I know, I'm painting strangers, and in some ways, that's liberating. I don't feel any particular compunction to make them look like the real person (handy, since I haven't been terribly successful at realism anyway). 

The first painting, "Tea & Sympathy," ended up looking somewhat like my cousin. Perhaps we gravitate toward painting who we know whether we mean to or not.

I know I fall toward my fiction roots and spend time thinking about character, the made-up back story of subjects and how that changes as paintings evolve.

Bite Wounds

I have mixed feelings on the use of background words in "Bite Wounds." I may nix those. I wanted a contrast to the perky smile, some extension to the squint around her eyes, but I can't yet decide if the words add or subtract overall according to my own weird aesthetics. 

Obviously, I have a long way to go in terms of technical skill, among other things. What I envision in my mind is far from being represented on the canvas. 

But as always with Artful Mistakes, I focus on the process (the AM tag line: the process of arting).  And through that, I find that there are elements I like of both paintings, some currents of frailty and warmth mixing in with the paint.

Painting, creating something, learning more with each misstep -- these feel useful to me. 

Both paintings remain in process. I find more and more I understand why artists are often so at loathe to sign paintings. It's hard to sign something that you know you're going to keep tweaking, or possibly, completely renovate. 


  1. I like the words on the new portrait. Nice touch.

  2. Thanks, Deb. It's always hard to tell if things are working at all.

  3. I love the words! I think you are on to something here given your love of both writing and painting. Really like this piece (Bite Wounds)