April 12, 2012
The End of "Pretty"
This portrait is a large -- 36 x 48 -- canvas that I'm painting in the studio, working from the sketches I did of this model this winter. I was struggling with the urge to make her pretty and in a fit of pique about something completely unrelated, gave her this face instead. It's the end of pretty for this girl and I am thinking maybe I need to push the emotional edge in my work. No longer a refuge into the beautiful, maybe it will become a vehicle to vent the darker side of things. I still have a way to go on this portrait, but I'm happy with her tortured face.
I still need to finish my paintings for the coffee shop. I needed to check the light in the shop to see how Calvin's face appeared as it would be on the wall. He definitely needed more highlights, which I've added. It was a minor celebrity moment, when people came up and asked me about the painting, I ran into friends and I've even been stopped now by someone who said, "didn't I see you at the coffee shop?" The painting, though, as I brought it in, was in pretty stark form and all my good feelings about it were quashed when the owner didn't understand how the painting would look when finished. He was worried it was too "graphic" and not a warm enough painting. I've put in a lot more time on it and it's closer to being done.