Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Victoria, Oil on Gessoed Paper, 7x10


Well, I had a bit of a wrench in my plans to get right to work this morning. Last month I had a falling out with my my mother's husband and while no more contact with him is a good thing for me, the whole thing was nasty (well, HE was nasty) and I really needed to go over the whole thing with Doug, who always helps me put things in perspective.

So I got up to the studio late, around 11am, answered a few emails and well, I admit to surfing around a bit, procrastinating.

Finally I got the paint out at noon and worked until about 4pm until it was time to get dinner started.

The good news is that I worked on one of the portraits I had started over a month ago and I am quite happy with what I did today. I was not sure how I would be handling the painting aspect of these (doing the drawings was great fun!) and frankly I was a bit afraid at first but I just dove in and am feeling pretty peachy about it right now.

Might change my mind tomorrow though, or I might like it and leave it the way it is and just move on to the next study. I am a bit disappointed that I didn't really capture the likeness of Victoria, who was a fellow resident at the Vermont Studio Center with me last winter. But in general, that isn't my goal with doing portraits so I decided not to stress about it. The only reason I did stress about it all was because my agreement with all of the residents who posed for photos for me was that I would give them one of the studies or small pieces that I would do and I can't help myself from feeling that the study at least should look like them a little bit.

And I did learn today that I should make the next batch of drawings darker. I put down two glazes over the drawing and after those it was really difficult to see the drawing underneath, so I practically had to start the drawing all over again, which probably accounts for my having trouble getting the likeness as well. On the other hand it may have been a plus to not have the drawing visible, maybe I would have felt too compelled to stick to it too much. I want these portraits to not be perfect, to not be a traditional style portrait and to be a bit rough around the edges. There are a lot of lines scratched into the paint and I hope to also move these into a bit more abstraction eventually, but despite that I do feel it necessary to begin with an accurately drawn image. Anyway, I began painting another study today (I have six drawings ready to be painted) and will try to finish it tomorrow.

It was beyond wonderful to be painting again too, by the way.


Maddy said...

Very envious. My daughter is about to take up 'life' classes. I'm quite tempted to join her, daunting prospect indeed.
BEst wishes

Angela Rockett said...

Ooo, I like. Very much. Nice balance between realism and abstraction.

I like the composition of the close-up better than the full shot too, btw.

Kim Morin Weineck said...

Bravo for getting back into it and for taking us all along. Lovely. Your figures seem a wonderful departure. Can't wait for more.

Melody said...

Great work Tracy. So glad your feeling good about getting back at it.

Diane Hoeptner (hep-ner) said...

YAY! How exciting for you, so glad to see this new work... Looking forward to seeing more.

Casey Klahn said...

I love it.

Tracy said...

Thanks Maddy, I should be getting back to some life drawing myself, you should go with your daughter!

Angela, you are totally right about the composition. I think when I move on from the studies I will be cropping them more.

Kim, thanks, and I am hoping to get a few more done soon.

Thanks Melody! So great to be painting again, i can't believe I let it go so long.

Thanks, Diane!

Thanks Casey, wish I could be a little more daring with the color. You know, like making a nose bright pink:)

Natalya said...

great! what a start...

Michelle said...

I like the abstract, dream quality about it.

sarahfburns said...

I really like the feel of the oil on gessoed paper. It's engaging and present.

And, I know what you mean about catching that elusive likeness!!! It's such a challenge. Sometimes it doesn't matter that much but it'd be nice to be able to do it, just the same.