Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year, New Paintings...

I've already decided that one of my resolutions for 2012 is to find beauty everywhere, and be inspired by anything and everything.  If I want to paint a tree, I'll paint a tree!  Of course the figure is still my main muse, and I love our weekly figure drawing group...creating new painting and drawings every week keeps me engaged and fresh.  This week I did a small oil of our model seated on a striped blanket.

I also started a painting of a stunning young woman that I saw in a coffee shop in Savannah.  Part two of my Resolution for 2012: Be brave and take pictures of people who inspire me!

There have been several instances in the past where I have seen beautiful, stylish women while out.  A striking young woman with jet black hair and ice blue eyes sitting in a Restaurant in Rochester, a beautiful brunette with her own unique and funky style who spoke with me at an Art show in Atlanta, etc.  Every time I think to myself "I would paint her JUST LIKE THAT!" But I never get up the nerve to say "Hi. I'm an Artist and I would love to paint you!"  

Until last week.  

I was having lunch with DH at a small diner in Savannah and spotted a lovely young woman seated by the window.  I know I stared at her about 300 times, probably totally freaking her out, but I was already painting her in my head!  Her adorable flipped bobbed hair, her light skin, a stylish dress with a delicate striped pattern. All of the lovely shades of grey on the walls, the chrome table, her dress...and then...can it be?!?! Bold purple suede shoes.  That did it.

I placed my breakfast order, sat in the corner booth, took ten deep breaths and grabbed my business card and my camera, and approached this darling woman.

I'm sure I sounded like an idiot, thrusting my cards at her and *I think* telling her that I'm an Artist.  Somehow, she saw past my nerves a graciously allowed me to shoot a few photos - even grinning as I directed her to "look here" and "place your hand over here".   I moved as quick as I could while still getting the needed photos, quickly asked her name and shaking her hand, then escaping so she could continue her breakfast without being bothered by the crazy lady with a camera!

BUT YEAH!  I did it!  I was brave enough to go for it!  And now...yippeee!!! - I've started this beautiful painting.

I began with a thin layer of burnt sienna and then worked on a painted sketch.

I slowly started adding more value.

Then I started adding in all of the wonderful shades of grey.  I had no idea how difficult it is to mix multiple, subtly different shades of grey - some light green, some more blue, some with purple.  And I have no black on my palette.

Just before I left the studio today I added the first layer of purple on her shoes!  

In addition to the challenge of mixing a variety of fresh and beautiful grays, I am faced with her beautiful face!  She has delicate features and a very unique eye shape.  The portrait is so small...every small shift makes her whole face look different.

So I'm trying to do justice to that beautiful face, her easy grace and elegance.  And I thank her for a beautiful start to 2012.


Michelle Arnold Paine said...

She really is so wonderful! I love the bits of burnt sienna showing through the greys.

Lisa Graham said...

Wow this is so lovely...the woman at the table. You are soooooo gifted. It does take courage to get photos. I got one a couple of months ago of a woman at the Lenscrafters. She was so sweet about it, but my painting of her did not do her justice the way yours did for the woman you saw. Wow.

Brad Miedema said...

Wow! I love the story and the painting! I admire you so much for getting the reference you needed. I see it payed off! I bet the lady would love to see that painting!

Krystyna81 said...

Brad - luckily she tracked me down on FB so she is watching the progress :)