One of my dear friends stopped by my house last week to pick up a couple of art prints for the Habitat for Humanity Silent Auction. She is very supportive of my art and has been championing me on during my 100 Portraits Project. We were in my studio and she was looking at the portraits and asked me Who are these women? What is their story? To be honest, I wasn't quite sure how to answer these questions.
For the rest of the day I thought about these women who were taking over my art studio, waiting patiently for the next one to join them, asking myself these very same questions.
Now, before I answer, I must mention that I started this project because I have been all over the place creatively. I decided to focus on the portrait because they are incredibly challenging, and I want to improve technically. Also, I want to feel inspired and maybe find more direction in my art.
As you know from my last post, I have developed a schedule which is working for me. I'm no longer "afraid" to begin and most of the time I feel inspired to draw. However, with the passing of each day (today is day 39) it is becoming so much more to me. They have become so much more to me.
The reference photos I use are all beautiful women, which could come across as very superficial, but, there is always something more to what I see than their outward beauty. What I see are women who are many things; women who are strong, intelligent, independent, fragile, sensual and imperfect. Most importantly, I see fragments of women I know; my mother, my sister, my daughter, my friends, and I'm sure their are bits of me in the mix.
The photo or photos are just a jumping off point for the initial structure of the portrait. It will eventually be cast aside, features will change and the final woman will emerge.
When I look at them all together, they are very similar in style, which could be viewed as either a good thing or not so good depending on the point of view. But, at the moment, I don't really mind, because I know they're evolving into who they are meant to be.
I'm now at the point where I'm craving color, I tried quite hard to remain true to the charcoal, but, I am feeling inspired, so I'm leaning into it. I love and respect this beautiful process - it is the reason I'm doing this.
The process is everything! It really is!