In January, I set out to complete 100 self portraits. I required that all my work be the same size (17x14 inch gessoed paper), created from life, and completed in 15 minutes or less. The small size made it possible to "finish" the work, and my self imposed 15 minute time limit prevented fussing, yielding a direct and immediate result.
I began the project working with oil, then transitioned to pastels, and then moved around between graphite, sharpie, charcoal and gouache. Initially, my portraits were very much a traditional 3/4 profile and explored color, but I challenged myself to play around with scale, perspective, line etc. Eventually I found my way to graphite and created some very interesting contour line portraits.
I learned quickly that my time restraint prevented me from having any exacting detail, and instead, forced a very raw, in the moment, emotional result. Throughout the process, my entire catalog of feelings and experiences were accessible. Initially, I saw each portrait as a different person, but then recognized that each work is a reflection of how I felt in those 15 minutes. These faces are evidence that our sense of self and identities are constantly shifting and evolving, however big or small. The complexities of which aspects of ourselves take the drivers seat to lead, push or pull us forward at any given time is fascinating.
I am inspired to add my voice and view to the subjects of portraiture and identity because the female perspective is largely missing from the sum of our history as told through art.
These animals traveled a great distance to arrive at their beautiful new home on a lavender farm in Central Poland, just a ways southwest of the city of Lódź, where my collector created and shared this inspired whimsical interior scene.
Currate your own set of four animals
It's amazing - with the rain comes mushrooms. I photographed all of these mushrooms, around my house in NorCal, since the beginning of December. Some of them are the same mushroom, but in a different stage of life and-or show a different view. I don't know enough about mushrooms to confidently identify these beauts, so let's safely assume they are all inedible, proceed with caution and simply appreciate their beauty and diversity. Click a mushroom for an enlarged slideshow :)
I'm lingering on painting flowers. I'm enjoying the whole process: cutting the flowers from the garden, arranging them, painting heavily and quickly, painting from life... it's really wonderful. Not sure how long I will stay with this, but I suppose I will enjoy it while it lasts.
This morning I enjoyed cutting these gorgeous, peony lookalike roses from my garden for a still life. A friend suggested that I try a time limit when painting, so I set up my easel, and gave myself ninety minutes to start and finish this painting. I found the deadline very motivating. It eliminated dillydallying and forced cutthroat decisions. And when the buzzer chimed, I really felt my work was complete.
Spring is nearly here and the garden around my studio is coming to life! It's been lovely to capture some of the little wonders through my photography. Starting top left and moving clockwise: Gorgeous quince blooming, a mushroom born from the soggy ground, one of many bees busy in the pear tree blossoms, and miner's lettuce all around the stumpery garden.
I photographed all of these little creatures around the yard. It's so fun to see them and know what they are. It seems I'll have to take the mindset of Ms. Beatrix Potter if i'm to find out who they are!
I don't have a garden, let alone a yard or a balcony to grow and cut flowers from, but I do my best to bring nature indoors. Thank goodness for little corner flower markets in the city!
I created this space to showcase my past work, chronicle my current projects, and share my inspiration.