Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Painting from Life

I've been blessed to have a variety of volunteers who are willing and able to sit for me at the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, WI during my time as artist-in-residence on Tuesday afternoons. I paint much more quickly when I'm able to do it with a live model or in the open air, as in landscape painting (plein air). The paintings shown here were completed in about 4 hours. Painting from life puts the color and atmospheric conditions right in front of me. I don't have to second guess what a photograph is telling me to interpret. But painting from life also gives me the much-needed practice of seeing the reality that allows me to get a stronger interpretation of what I'm seeing in a photograph when I have to paint from a printed image or from my computer screen.

When I first decided to pursue portraiture, I began by taking week-long workshops with established portrait and figurative artists. In the first workshop I attended, the artist told me that I would have to paint 200 portraits from life before I would begin to feel like I was making progress. If that didn't discourage me, nothing will! I still have a few openings left in September and October if you have the time and are interested in sitting for me at the museum on a Tuesday afternoon.

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