Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Monday, December 26, 2016
Friday, December 23, 2016
Saturday, December 17, 2016
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Monday, December 12, 2016
Sunday, December 11, 2016
This is the sketch I did in April at the monastery in Upper Pisang while trekking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. It was an amazing afternoon after a long hike from Chame to Pisang. We arrived in Lower Pisang around 3, got settled in our rooms, then hiked to Upper Pisang where many of the men in the village were engaged in an archery competition, then hiked further to the monastery at the top. There was one monk chanting and beating a prayer drum and I had an opportunity to meditate there for about 10 minutes. The group I was with was ready to head back down but I asked Madhu, our guide, if I could hang back and sketch for a while. He was concerned that I wouldn't make it back before dark but I assured him I would make it back. So, I found a spot to sketch out of the wind and enjoyed the time alone to draw and paint in the middle of the Himalayas a beautiful monastery and listen to the chanting and drums coming from within the temple I was sketching.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Friday, December 9, 2016
I started going to a new group that meets on Thursday nights to do portrait painting. It's 3 hours of one pose and we can take pictures so that, if we want, we can work on it in our own studios. Then the model comes back for a second week and takes the same pose so that we can continue working. I spent 5 and a half hours on this portrait in my huge Moleskine sketch book. I don't usually spend that much time on a portrait. It will be interesting for me to see how the portraits from this group develop.
Week 1 and 2 - Amanda.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Thursday, October 27, 2016
This is Stephen. He's a plywood artist and I absolutely love his work. He makes really cool stuff out of plywood - vessels, fine art, coffee cups, etc. A couple of years ago we worked on an inkwell design together and he built me a couple that I love and use practically every day. Anyway, we've been talking lately about him building a couple plywood panels to replace the two metal gas tank covers on my Ducati Scrambler motorcycle. So, a couple of weeks ago I rode out to talk about it with him and asked him if, while I was out there, I could do his portrait.
It was a perfect autumn day so we sat out on his back porch and caught up with each other's lives while I sketched. I brought my large Moleskine sketchbook (12"x16") which I knew would be ambitious for just an hour sketch. Well, the time flew by for me, as it so often does when I'm sketching/painting and before I knew it, my time was up. I didn't especially like the portrait I painted so I took a photo of Stephen with my phone with the plan that I would fix it back in the studio.
I have mixed feeling about this portrait now that I've "fixed" it in the studio. Part of me feels like I've "cheated" - it's sort of half live and half from a photo and therefore not true to my proclaimed effort of doing live portraits. But then the other part of me says I didn't have time to "complete" the portrait so it's fair that I use a camera to so that I can bring the portrait to a satisfactory conclusion.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Saturday, October 22, 2016
This is Dipika. I met her in May when I traveled to Nepal and joined a group of strangers to trek the Annapurna circuit. She's my first "face 2 face" portrait in this new phase of the Portrait Project and this sketch is from a few months ago when we were on the trek. I ended up painting her portrait 3 times over the course of the 2 week trek. This one is my favorite, though as I recall, she wasn't particularly fond of it.
This portrait took about 30-40 minutes and was done in the evening at a teahouse near Chame along the Annupurna circuit trek. I used a 4b pencil and small watercolor kit that fits inside of an Altoids tin along with a Pentel waterbrush.
I'm going to flat out give all the credit for this new phase of Portrait Project to Dipika. She inspired it by showing me that I not only could do it but that I had vastly more to gain in painting from life. After I painted Dipika, I had the idea to paint the portraits of our entire group - eighteen in all. And since they are all friends now and live in parts of the world I may never get to, I'll be sprinkling their portraits in as I go along. So, thanks Dipika. You started something.
Friday, October 21, 2016
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Thursday, September 29, 2016
This is me. Finally, I have fallen victim to my own brush. It's not exactly how I see myself (do I really look that intense!?) but I was going for it, like I have done with all of my portraits, drawing and painting what I see and letting the moments flow together until I feel like I have a complete portrait. When I start a painting, whether it's a landscape or a portrait, I never know how it will end up. It's what keeps me going - it's an adventure - and the act of painting changes me and I come away with a different understanding and connection with who or what I just painted that I didn't have before I started.
So, I've been thinking, after completing my original goal of painting 250 portraits, how, or even IF, I would continue The Portrait Project. I have gained much from this project, both in terms of improving my skills as an artist as well as gaining a deeper connection to my friends. But I've also realized that by working with photographs - and usually without my subject's permission - that I'm denying their participation in the process of making their portrait. So, here's what I'm going to do - I'm throwing all of the names of my Facebook friends (currently there are 477) back into my "friend jar" (The "friend jar" is a jar that sits next to my desk that has the names of all of my Facebook friends whose portraits I haven't done. I reach into this jar without looking and take a name out when I'm ready to paint a portrait) ((really, I do this)). But this time, I'm going to do "live" portraits - as many as possible - rather than working from photographs. I hope you will all join me on this new and exciting journey.
OK! Let's make some art and see what happens. Should be fun...
8x11 pencil and watercolor. #253
Sunday, September 25, 2016
This is Greg. And that's a little piglet he's holding. He's a farmer now but when I first met him about 15 years ago he was working for a big bank and getting out on his bike whenever he could - probably just trying to get outside of being inside so much. Biking is a great release from stress and being indoors.
It's been interesting to see him make the transition from banker to farmer. He's not on his bike as much as he used to be - probably doesn't have the time - but he also probably doesn't need it as much. I saw him recently after not having seen him for several years and he was a different man- calmer, more seasoned, more settled in - like he's found his rhythm - his cadence.
20x30 Acrylic and gold leaf on panel. #252
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Monday, September 12, 2016
I keep trying to make acrylic work for me - I just can't seem to get happy with it.
Friday, August 19, 2016
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Monday, July 18, 2016
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Monday, June 20, 2016
This is Alan. I first met him about 12 years ago when he called me looking for an architect/designer to help him renovate a building out in Montville, Maine that he was developing into an artists retreat. We worked on the design for a few weeks but he ultimately decided (wisely, I think) to put his energy and vision into creating Waterfall Arts, a contemporary community art center in Belfast, Maine that has been instrumental in helping to cultivate a thriving art scene in the Midcoast.
8.5"x14" watercolor and pencil with Artrage. #250
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
This is Kate - again. This is the other portrait I was working on at the same time I was working on the last portrait I posted. She looks like a model here. I imagine what was really going on is she was goofing around with her friends and she struck a classic model pose and after the photo was snapped she broke into laughter.
This was a pencil drawing that felt unfinished to me for a few days. I was thinking about adding color and came across a facebook post of a color wheel done in watercolor by my friend Jessie Chapman - an architect and artist living in Virginia. It was posted on Sunday with #love and I understood it to be about the shooting in Orlando. It represents the solidarity/love that many of us feel with the LGBT community right now. And it seemed right for Kate's portrait.
11x17 Pencil in my huge Moleskine sketchbook with Artrage.#249.5
Friday, June 10, 2016
This is Kate. She and my son were classmates when they went to Montessori fifteen years ago. She was an adorable girl then and has grown to become a beautiful young woman in so many ways. I made two portraits of her because I couldn't decide which photo to use. I worked on them both at the same time in my huge Moleskine sketchbook, flipping back and forth. It was kind of interesting doing it that way because she was a few years younger in the photo I worked off of for this portrait but my portrait makes her look a few years older - closer to the way she looks in the other portrait I was drawing - closer to the way she looks now.
I wrote "u are free" all over her face. This was a phrase that got stuck in my brain when I was in Nepal recently. It's not entirely random that I wrote it on her but I also don't know exactly why I did - I could say that about so many of the things I do to these portraits. I am aware she has visited Nepal and has an affinity for the people there and that part of the world. For me, "u are free" became a mantra of sorts. Something I would think about from time to time. Am I free? What does it mean to be free? Are any of us really free? I saw it written in spray paint on a brick wall on the drive from the airport in Kathmandu to my hotel. A simple piece of graffiti that got stuck in my brain and now it's a value for Kate's portrait. If you have any thoughts about this portrait or the phrase "u are free" I would love for you to comment.
11x17 pencil in my huge Moleskine sketchbook. #249
Friday, May 20, 2016
Thursday, March 17, 2016
I hiked to the top of Mt. Battie and sketched the tower yesterday with my badass little dog. While I was sketching the sky was spitting a cold rain and three teenage boys were exploring around the tower. One boy read aloud from a plaque at the base of the tower to the two who climbed to the top -
"All I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked another way,
And saw three islands in a bay."
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked another way,
And saw three islands in a bay."
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Monday, March 14, 2016
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Thursday, February 25, 2016
This is David. He's a cousin living in New Orleans. I don't know him that well but I've always liked him.
This is, admittedly, kind of an odd portrait - even for me - and it has little to do with David and more to do with my own sense of balance today.
10x10 gouache and pencil in my huge Moleskine sketchbook. #247
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Monday, February 22, 2016
This is Kimberly. I met her at Carver Hill Gallery in Rockland a couple of years ago when she was in town visiting friends. She used to live here but moved to California a few years ago. Around here, she's famous for her "Sacred Sweat" classes which go way beyond a fitness workout reaching people at a deep spiritual level.
This is a portrait of Kimberly and her father. The words are Kimberley's and I don't anticipate they are readable with the mess I've made, but trust me, she painted a beautiful portrait of their relationship with these words.
11x16 pencil and watercolor in my huge Moleskine sketchbook. #245