Monday, April 10, 2017

Berthe Morisot

In the past year or so, the pull of painting people has become stronger and stronger. And yet, I have doubted myself.                                                                                             Painting with a knife, learning to paint without instruction, focusing on surface and impasto, color and movement, I'm not a natural portrait painter, by which I mean - in my surprisingly traditional self-valuing, judgmental way - that my portraits of humans are not accurate or realistic.                                                                                   To the way of thinking I found I had developed over most of my 60 years, I've realized that to me, this has meant that those paintings, my paintings, are not good. And so, much in the way that I have become comfortable painting houses without doors or windows, porches or chimneys, I became comfortable painting people without many facial characteristics. See Fisherman Joe, for instance.                                                                                                                           But then, happily, I think, for what it says about my own attitude toward myself, I began to want to paint faces - but still, not faces of living people, real people, people I know, people who could talk back, could comment on my paintings, and most especially, people who could be hurt by them, thinking that what I painted is what I saw. In fact, what I paint is what I am able to paint, in the context of what I see, nothing more, nothing less. My judgment, apparently, is reserved for my own self. 

It was at this point that the idea of painting artists came to me. 

The more I thought about it, and the more artists I painted, the more interested I became in it as a project. I'm experimenting with the portraits, with ways of presenting them, with ways of painting them, and with the choices I'm making. I can envision a whole wall of these small portraits, a way of celebrating the artists who helped shape our world, a way of expressing my own voice, and a way of learning and growing. At any rate, this painting is of Berthe Morisot, one of the three women who made some success in Impressionist circles. For more on her, click here.

This portrait of her is 6x12, and is $145, including shipping. 

Tube Contest

There's a winner in the tube-cap contest! It's Sue Schneider, who guessed 126. The actual total? 128. And I admit, I am amazed. I'd have thought I used three times that much paint! They were the big tubes (225 ml), and as you can see in the middle, one pint of white. At any rate, I'm going to save the lids again this year, just to see if maybe I forgot a month or two (or six?). 

Thank you, everyone, for playing! For winning, Sue gets a 10x10-inch painting, or $100 off a painting of her choice. 

Dog of the Day
Well, the Dog of the Day from a recent post was not Batty, as I said, but Shadow. Here is the real Batty. They both live with my friend SaraBeth, and Blanco, and they're all good dogs! 

A Final Thought

"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work." 

- Emile Zola


Pat Holloway said...

Oh, I love this idea and your words that I feel express how I draw and paint, it's simply what I can do.

carrie jacobson said...

Thanks, Pat! It is so good to know that you understand what I'm saying. It's simple but it's everything, too, right?