Being Strong, Seeing Strong
Thank you for following along on my journey to improve my art through practice.
I took about a month or so off from this blog space to give myself time without social media distractions and do some work on myself.
During this time I started a portrait series, both in acrylic paint and in graphite on bristol board. The series began with my painting of Malala Yousafzai who withstood an attack in Pakistan and now stands up for women's domestic violence causes globally. I had seen a photo of her wearing a bright red hijab that was so striking and it inspired the color palette for the painting.
From that painting, I researched "Strong Women", and "Women Leaders" and began a file on women who I admire and who have changed the world in their own way.
The paintings range in size from 12" x 12" of Frida Kahlo and Gloria Steinham to the Malala painting at 24" x 30". The drawing series is all rendered on bristol board measuring 11" x 14" and includes "Julia", "Ruth", "Indira", "Billy Jean", "Eleanor" and "Angela" with more to come. I particularly like using photos where the subject's hands are visible because hands can tell their own story.
I am having a lot of fun researching women and finding source material that I like and then deciding on the composition and tonalities. I try my best to capture these women's fierce intelligence and intensity.
What this COVID time has allowed me to do is spend time with myself. I am allowing myself more time to finish drawings and not rushing the details. I am leaning into something I love and learning at the same time. What can be better than that? Ultimately that makes for better drawings. I am paying more attention to finer details and checking the range of darks as I try to make the darkest marks I possibly can to represent my black shadows.
I think my portraits have come a long way, which includes my better understanding of proper proportions on the face, with the eyes hitting the middle of the head and dividing up the rest of the face accordingly.
Recently I started to participate in a few online Meetup drawing groups. They can be found here: Triangle Sketch Crawl and they meet monthly in at least 3 different classes.
Zog's Zoom Portraits on 1st Mondays at 6: 30pm
Draw Y'all Portrait Drawing 3rd Wednesdays at 6:30
And there's a Figure Drawing one on the 2nd Wednesdays.
In these online sessions, I have gotten to meet some really cool artists not only from around the Triangle but around the country. And many of the same people show up to several of the monthly groups so you start to learn their style and develop friendships. I love that!
The portrait sessions have made a big difference in my work too. I prefer to stand and work really large when I attend, on newsprint that measures 18" x 24" I have truly gotten out of my comfort zone as well, using pastels and graphite sticks to really loosen up my style.
Thank you for following along as my art journey takes its twists and turns. We will get out of COVID stronger and better than before. Having grown.
Staying strong and getting stronger.