Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Muse Portrait Studies

As some of you may know, I've just come out of convalescence after major surgery. A break from painting for a hyper productive artist like myself was both difficult, and invigorating. Diving back into my studio work is like being given back my life. Every brushstroke is like a new breath. And though my surgery had nothing to do with my eyes or heart, it would seem the two are more connected than ever. I've promised myself, and recited this to promise to a dear friend, as well as now to you (the universe), that from now on, every brushstroke will be honest. There will be no mapping, no detours, no blocking, faking, or holding back. EVERY BRUSHSTROKE. Now the promise is out there, and there's no turning back. So far, it has been working. My work has changed, become more emotional and loose. It is more about feeling than seeing.

I started a self portrait a couple of weeks ago, which I am slowly working on, but it is a challenge. So while I work through that, I challenged myself to do a tonne of little 8 x 8" portraits of people who inspire me. Some are musicians, some actors, some painters, some writers... you get the picture. What I am really enjoying about painting these faces that have become icons in their own right, just as their work stands on its own, is the challenge of breathing life into these iconic images. Sending their own indelible mark from their work back into their physical image.
portrait of Jeff Buckley, 8 x 8", oil on canvas

Portrait of Margaret Atwood, 8 x 8" oil on canvas

Portrait of Nina Simone, 8 x 8" oil on canvas

Portrait of Patti Smith, 8 x 8", oil on canvas

Portrait of Philip Guston, 8 x 8" oil on canvas
More soon...

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