I haven’t posted for quite a while, but behind the scenes I’ve been doing a lot so I wanted to reconnect and give you a little update on what I’ve been up to. A few months ago I decided that I wanted to carve out more time for actually making art, instead of all the other things that come with being an online art teacher (filming, editing, writing, website, etc. etc.). I really felt I wanted to dedicate some time to nourish my personal creativity again, so that’s what I’ve been doing and I’m loving it!
It’s really been a kind of ‘open inquiry’ all these months. The only thing that I sort of knew from the start was that I wanted to paint faces in acrylics. All the rest was completely open: the type of acrylic paint (thick, thin, open time etc.), the colors, tools, techniques, what kind of faces, the composition, the substrate, the size, the style, the look and feel… and so on. So that’s what I’ve been spending my time on: experimenting with all these variables. A lot of doing, trying, failing, observing, looking at my own art and that of other artists, understanding what it is that I like about it (and what not), practicing, taking notes, letting go, starting over, feeling excited at some points and frustrated at other times, and just trying to be courageous enough to keep showing up, even at the many times that I felt deflated and felt like it was all pointless…
And I’m loving the journey! Painting is currently really what makes me feel most happy, relaxed and grounded, so I’m grateful that I can do this right now.
Since a few weeks I feel I’ve found a direction that I want to continue exploring and I’ve decided to focus this in a series of paintings, which I’m calling ‘Beyond the Edges’. This title refers of course to the composition of these paintings, which is zoomed in so much that the edges of the subject are partly outside of the painting. But it’s also about working with soft and hard edges in my painting style, and perhaps most of all about my own attitude in this process, trying to go beyond my own boundaries and limitations.
All three paintings are 40×50 cm (16×20 inches). The two girls are painted on linnen canvas, while the elderly woman is on wood panel. The main techniques that I’m using in these portraits are dry brushing and glazing, and as always in my art I’m playing with texture as well. The overall color is an umber brown (always challenging to show the colors correctly in the image because every display is different, but I hope you get an idea).
The painting of the elderly woman is not finished yet. I haven’t decided if I want to keep the background light or make it darker like the other two paintings, so I’ll see what I’ll do with that. I’m also working on a new painting, which I haven’t photographed yet, and I have lots of ideas on how to continue with this series. So much fun, I’ll keep you posted!