Painting for January 23: Where did the time go?

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“January 23, 2017″ – acrylic on canvas, 6″ x 8”

I think we can dispense with all pretense that I’m in any way keeping up with the “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge.  So now that that’s out of the way, let me just say that this is my favourite “hair painting” so far.  Not only did I let myself get carried away with details (so much for “daily” painting), but bonus!  I also took the reference photo myself, so, FINALLY, I can claim to have created an original painting.  Many thanks to my lovely and patient model, S., who’s probably convinced by now that she works with weirdos.

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Two linearts and a WIP

20170122_213402Well, I certainly have fallen behind on the “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge, haven’t I?

The thing is, I can’t blame it all on my 9 to 5 job (or rather, my 8 to 5 job).  Yes, I’m tired when I get home from work, and then there’s supper and getting the kids ready for bed, etc, but I when I do muster the energy to paint, I always manage to get into a flow.

The main problem is WHAT I’m painting.  In comparison with the face studies from the previous challenge, paintings of the back of women’s heads has the ineffable quality that I think has always been missing from work – but seeing as I never really do anything truly original, this is hardly surprising.  At the end of the day, though, they’re still studies.  I’m in a state of constant practice and preparation, but I never get any closer to my goal, which is to produce original work (such a scary concept!!).  And I have to change that.  Time to learn by doing.

Bu-u-u-u-t… maybe I’ll just finish these last 3 paintings first.

By the way, of these 3 wips, one of them is actually based on a photo I took of the receptionist at work.  She’s the first person I’ve ever asked to pose for me, and she was so nice about it, too!

 

Painting for January 7: Technique is overrated

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“January 7, 2017″ – oil on wood, 6″ x 8”

Ok, so I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit (a lot) for this “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge, but in my defense, I did say that I might not be able to keep up the pace all the way through.  (The village was already burning when I got here, Ma’am.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it).

And what strange paintings these are!  First of all, painting hair is totally different from painting faces because hair is essentially a shape, or collection of shapes.  Consequently, they’re coming out a lot rougher and more slap-dash than the portrait studies from the last challenge.

I *think* I like them, even if they weren’t at all what I expected.

Lady Hamilton Study

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Lady Hamilton portrait study, Photoshop, 2016

Study of a George Romney portrait of Lady Emma Hamilton, because I love “That Hamilton Woman”, and we Emmas need to stick together.

Also, if I could just find that One.  PERFECT.  Brush. these digital studies would go a lot faster…

WestWorld fanart

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Dolores from HBO’s “Westworld”, photoshop, 2016

I can’t say that I’m loving HBO’s “Westworld” as much as, say, “Game of Thrones”, but some of the characters are pretty compelling.  I’ve enjoyed Dolores’ transformation from “damsel in distress” to “total badass”, but more than that, I’m a big fan of actress Evan Rachel Wood and the proud jut of her chin!

Running in circles

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Face Study, pen on paper, 5.5″ x 7.5″

Long time no blog!

And I have an excellent reason for that: since the end of the “30 Paintings in 30 Days”challenge, I have had to face the facts (and the finances), and hustle my butt to get a job.  This is a particularly arduous task because I’ve been a full-time parent for the last decade, and, like most stay-at-home-moms returning to the workforce, I have lost all of my confidence (to be fair, though, it was never very high).

To make matters worse, my former industry (computer animation) is very tech-heavy and very youth-oriented.  I was certain that I wouldn’t be able to make sense of any 3D software after being away from it for so many years, and even if I did manage to wrap my head around it, I’d be a middle-aged woman surrounded by bright-eyed 20-somethings (cue Sesame Street’s “One Of These Things Is NOT Like The Others”… or was that from The Electric Company?  Oh God, my memory is failing already!).

Fortunately for me, I still have friends in medium-high places, and one of them is willing to pass on my demo reel (watch it here on YouTube!) to his studio’s HR dept.  I have a copy of the latest version of Maya, and I’m happy that most of my animator’s instincts have come back to me.  There’s no guarantee that this will turn into an actual contract, of course, but it’s the most positive outside feedback I’ve had in a long time.  Believe me, I will take what I can get!

The other reason why I’ve been quiet lately is because I’m tired of the Face Studies – not because I dislike making them, but because I want to concentrate on original work.  The trouble is, I can’t decide what I want to do or how I want to do it (the usual refrain), and this lack of original work weighs on me more and more with each passing day.  With all that stress, who has the gumption to make ART?

Well, I’ve written up the glowing cover letters, I’ve fine-tuned the resume, and I’ve re-cut the demo reel.  They’re out there in the world at this very moment, impressing or boring recruiters as we speak.  There’s nothing left for me to do except wait*.

So Hell YEAH, let’s make some art!  Inktober may have started weeks ago, but better late than never. 😉

*And panic.  Can’t forget to panic.