Monday, March 23, 2015

Self Portrait With My Daughter - Part Two

OK back to the self are a few shots of developing my profile...

I did my best not to over-work it...I love the cool light from the window on my profile, and the warm light from the floor on my chin.  And many of you know...I have an addiction to color, I mean it's worse than my love of dark chocolate.  So although I *try* to tone down the red, the painting always ends up feeling dull and lifeless when I do that.  I find myself thinking "Do I need to be bland to get into the big shows?  Do I need to use just brown and white to be taken seriously?" and truth is...when I do that?  I hate the painting.  I want my paintings to be fun and joyful and colorful, awards may not agree, but that's where my heart lies.

And here are a few of the process shots developing Arianna's face.  You can see it starts out very abstract, and features come into focus after I establish the larger shapes of the face.  No point in making a pretty eye that's too big, too small, or too far to the left - get everything else around the eye correct first.

These pictures are all from my cell phone, so forgive the poor detail.  The final piece...(well...a cropped version of the final...)

I have titled this piece "In My Shelter She Will  Live, Beyond My Shadow She Will Thrive"  It's a combination of a couple quotes I read about Motherhood.  We moms have a very difficult job, to support our daughters yet push them out of the nest as well.  I am realizing that my daughter is already doing things "just to make Mom happy" take certain dance classes she doesn't really like, because I want her to enjoy it so much.  I want her to have the chance I didn't have, which was to really take her dance as far as it can go (OK she's eight! I'll give it time!)  So here's the thing:  How do we moms give our kids the support and encouragement they need to succeed, yet give them their own spotlight?  I live with too many regrets, of always leveling out in everything I have done, never reaching a level just above "OK".  I don't want her to be almost 40, wishing she had achieved more.

And yet...she is not me...she is her own person...and my job is not to correct my mistakes though her, but to enjoy her every success along side her, and always, always, let her know that I will support any opportunity that comes her way.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mother and Daughter Painting - the Start

Well hello 2015....when did you get here?  I haven't been blogging...sorry...but I have been painting!

Early this year I began a self portrait with my daughter.  Quite accidentally, actually.  I was taking photos in the studio one day, and my kids were there with me.  I asked Ari to be my photographer, and then I asked her to jump into the photos.

This is the self portrait I worked on from the photos that day...I will post a better picture when it is all dried and finished!

Of course she couldn't just sit - first she gathered up a mask and some roses to "accessorize" our pose, and THEN we could take the picture.  So about a hundred photos later, I cut and pasted a few together that gave me the look I wanted in her face and mine.

This is just one photo so you can get the idea of the window light on the floor, and of course, see the fancy accessories Ari added.

So first steps are shown below - I have so many pictures I am going to break it up into a couple posts.  But my plan was to start with bold colors and big shapes, then work into the shadows, then the details.

This is a wood panel, 36" square, primed with oil.  I did put a 9 square grid on the surface so that I could get the scale correct of the two figures.  I only began to work on the faces after everything was blocked in - no reason to have the perfect face, and then find out later it should have been two inches to the left or a couple inches smaller! I purposefully aimed to have Ari's face in the middle.  When I moved the entire composition to the right, it became to mom-centric.  It was a very conscious choice to move me to the left.