Thursday, June 24, 2010

American Beauty and Dora

Today I had an appointment in the morning then afterwards went STRAIGHT to the studio (wisely leaving my computer IN THE HOUSE!) and went to work.  I've been having some issues getting to work these days, despite the large swaths of time I have to paint.  I think depression/anxiety had me somewhat paralyzed for a few days, thinking about Dylan's surgery, but now I'm feeling better, and I'm glad to be painting/drawing again.

Often a good way for me to get back into doing art is to draw with pastels.  They are very direct and simple and forgiving, and I have a lot of skill with them since I've been doing them for a long time now.  Oil painting is more difficult for me since I haven't been doing it for so long so can't use the materials in as many ways.  There's ease to drawing with pastels which I really appreciate.

A couple of days ago I began "Dora".  Today I worked on her again and made some refinements I like.  I don't know if they're visible online, but I definitely see the difference when looking at it in person.  I'm happy with how this turned out.  It's the first pastel I've done on canvas - that's what gives the body so much texture.  I've used all the fixative I have to make it so the pastels won't rub off.  Frankly, I don't think it's fully effective, but it does seem to help somewhat.  I'll get some more fixative in the next few days and coat it more to protect it as well as possible.  If that isn't sufficient, I'll frame it under glass.

After finishing "Dora", I began a new piece which I'm entitling "American Beauty".  The model for this piece was 57 years old when I photographed her.  She is in phenomenal shape.  She exercises daily and is quite fit.  I don't feel finished withthis piece.  It needs some correction and refinements.  That's a good thing - when I leave the studio with a piece unfinished, it gives me a lot of excitement about getting back in there the next day!

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