Painting the figure from life determines how I portray it. Relaxed and resting under a tree, napping on a sofa under a window, nude and dressing for an evening out, or feet up reading a book after a day's work running her own business? Only a small part of the story gets to the canvas. "Day's Reward," at Marshall Gallery is a painting of a young woman resting with her little four-legged companion after a day of seeing to her boss's every wish. Music playing and a tail wagging removes the tensions of the day.
The real story, however, is a model resting on my model's stand after a stressful day in classes, followed by a few hours waiting tables. I hire college students in need of money for new text books. I hire young mothers with sick kids in need of special medication. I love getting to know my models, hearing about life from a very different point of view. Some go on to become lawyers - corporate lawyers and criminal lawyers, one just retired from a veterinary practice, while another is a retired college professor. Some posed nude for the dreams of collectors and others fully clothed.
Working from life and in a tiny studio determines the pose, my imagination fills in the story. A neighbor girl laying out on a blanket with a book and a transistor radio. Memories like these of the neighbor girl, inspired me to do a series of paintings of models on the floor of my studio, putting each in a different setting. During summer months I photograph models out in different places, but my love of working from life always has me hiring them for my studio too.
I find these young ladies so interesting. One takes her 8 year old son to different religious services so he gets an understanding of others faith. Another volunteers in a nursing home, while another dances topless raising money for a group home for the mentally handicap. Hearing these stories is part of the pleasure of working from life. There is more than one story to each painting - the model's, mine and the one the collector sees.