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Showing posts from January, 2011

Magda & Kiro

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14" x 17", ink and wash on bristol board, 2006

I'm in the midst of working on fifteentwelve portraits for a show this summer and I was thinking about posed portraits vs candid portraits. Once again, I'm working from my own photo ref for the new series, but all of the shots are more or less posed-for (unpredictable animal companions notwithstanding).

About a decade ago, I was pretty keen on taking my trusty point-and-shoot film camera with me to social events and family get-togethers and trying to shoot candid pictures by reaching out my arm and roughly aiming the camera at the desired subjects. This was one of those cameras that didn't take a second to auto-focus, so the picture snapping was instantaneous. Unfortunately, since the aim was only accurate less than half of the time, most of the pictures shot this way leave out too much of the desired subject or are just plain useless, leaving me with tons of garbage prints.

Sometimes I get pure gold.

This painting…

Portraits

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Michelle Pfeiffer 14" x 11", watercolour, 1988, private collection

At some point in the winter of 1988 I decided to challenge myself by painting a portrait. After completing my first three, largely abstract, explorations into watercolour (this, this, and this), I thought something more recognizable would be fun to try. I don't remember why I chose Michelle Pfeiffer for it because, then, as now, I think she's a fine actor, but I feel kind of indifferent about her. Maybe it was Tony's suggestion...

You'll notice first that the likeness is barely there, if at all. The hair is all over the place (I deliberately exaggerated what I saw in the photo). The skin colouration is weird, but I do like the transparent glazing effect evident all over her --something I remember not being able to replicate in the next few paintings I did. This is obviously student-level work (I was, after all, just 17 when I painted this).

A couple of years ago, I thought I'd track down t…

Brollies

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"Plant, Ornament, Window," 4' x 5', oil on canvas, 2010
I guess, technically, the date above should read "2001-2010" since I started the thing about nine years ago, worked on it a tiny bit a few years ago, and only finished it a few weeks ago. What I abandoned some time in 2001 was just the rough underpainting...and some minor touch-ups and textures were added a few years ago. There was still about 90% left to paint. In fact, there are still white highlights I need to add to complete the painting, so, technically, it's still not finished and I should really put "2001-2011" as the dates...

This is a close-up of the window in this painting and also this painting. I translated the titles for that Interiors series into rudimentary French because I felt naming them based on the subject in the picture to be too banal in English, and they might sound better, more interesting, and maybe even exotic in French. For some reason, rather than translating …