Sunday, June 7, 2015

My Memorably Long Road

"Woman in Pink & Gold" 16x20 oil and gold leaf on canvas


I do give private art lessons.  But not the kind of lessons that say - "this is the process of creating art".  The students I have varying levels of  artists who need guidance in accomplishing their art according to their skills and comfort levels.
My long road to an experimental portrait
 I don't have one specific way to accomplishing a painting.  Sometimes I underpaint in blue, green, earth tones, even hot pink or purple etc lol!  I do create thumbnails first though.  And I either do a bunch of pencil studies or go directly to Photoshop.  But my studies are to determine composition and values and color arrangements.  Then I do fleshtone studies.  Then I go all over the place hahaha This particular commission, because client said, "Do whatever your artistic calling wants you to do."  So I took my time. This project took 3.5 years.  I wanted to express the energy the subject puts out.  For the longest time, the traditional way I paint portraits competed strongly with what my creative self wanted to do, it was quite a battle oye! My mood went all over the place.

After much denial and negotiating and finally reaching surrender and acceptance, I was worn out; ready to listen to my creative self.  I took the unexplored road to gold leaf and gold paints.  The subject likes bling and she looks loveliest among gold colors and she likes purples and pinks.  Very, very slowly, I proceeded this direction.  Things were finally "feeling" more comfortable.  I wasn't missing the defiance from where ever the heck that energy was coming from.  This was still a bit nerve wracking because I don't do commissions herky jerky.  I only allow myself more play when it's just "my art".

Detail shot it wasn't easy to photograph


By the way, I usually either have TV or audible on when I'm painting because I need to divide my attention or I overthink things and scare myself.  Well I kid you not, when I finally felt I had just applied the last touch on the portrait, the trailer from from "Woman in Gold"  played on my studio TV!  WHOAH cue Twilight Zone music!  YEAH I felt like it was a sign of validation from Creative Universe giving me thumbs up for winning my battle the correct way!
Anna with "Woman in Pink & Gold"
Then Anna received her painting and she was delighted!  And immediately had it framed!!!  I was so dang worried when we were having tornado warnings, I was gonna get sooooo mad if the 3.5 year old project got flown to the land of OZ!  I suggested she saw the movie too which she did :)  Weeks later Mom and I went to see it too and loved my idol Helen Mirren.

Though my current commission pieces on the easel are traditional, I really enjoyed this project so much after the fact hahaha  I am happier that I didn't settle for my usual traditional style because it wouldn't have done Anna justice.
"Yellow and Red Roses" 4x6 oil on canvas collection of Patrick and Adriane Carr
Today the buyer of a recent painting I published on Facebook posted a beautifully framed photo of the painting!  It really puts a big smile on my silly face when I see that my works live in good homes :)

2 comments:

  1. I saw the movie Erika this painting really reminds me of the Klimpt art with modern touch. Very nice!

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  2. Wow there are so many amazing things about this piece Erika! Hands and face sooo believable. Her face seems to be smiling, introspective and sad or worried all at once - many emotions! Hands also - giving taking collecting hiding. I like the contradiction of the elaborate dress and no shoes and informal gesture. I like the dress and pieces o gold melting into pink background. You make that crazy color work somehow. The painting is solid and one can read so many things into her face, pose, the gold etc

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Thank you for taking the time to comment ~Erika