The Model Relationship

         Cont'e on strathmore, 4 ply bristol board; this is a new style for me. I'm experimenting. Beautiful renderings of beautiful women just do not do it for me any longer. I'm hoping that an interesting technique leads to an interesting drawing, not just another portrait of a beautiful woman. 
          I've worked with some very inspiring models, who have been even more interesting to know as individuals. I haven't learnt yet how to capture their personal story with just cont'e or charcoal; a task that may be impossible. The beauty of working from a live model is that we, the model and myself, get to know one another which over the years has become a major factor in all my work. both painting and drawing. Making a picture is easy, making a work of art is hard. Art is relating a feeling, or passion through the materials we use. A story, told, but unheard, is what a work of art is when the viewer doesn't totally relate to it. I wrap myself in the presence of my model, letting her presence guide my hand. A light touch, a heavy stroke, a muted color; are all brought about by how I saw the model. Even though I pay my models, I still consider it a privilege to have them in my studio posing for me. To hear about their lives outside the studio brightens my palette, makes my hand more sure, and pushes me to dream up more personal concepts. 
          An artist friend asked me why I use such expensive frames on certain paintings, when I could get away with lesser ones. I said, "It is out of respect for what went into those paintings."

Paint Leaving the Brush...

  First Time

First Time

The process of creating a work of art has intangibles that many people see subconsciously. What I see in a piece of art is determined, due in part, by how I feel. Working with the right person - having an insight into who that person is - adds those intangibles to a painting that turns it into a work of art. Not all those who see my paintings will think of them as works of art, but rather as simple pictures. For art to be art it has to move or connect with the viewer. Personal experiences and feelings come into play in both creating art and appreciating it. My art is a statement on how I see the people and subjects I paint. The color - the shapes, are altered by how I feel; by what senses are in play at the time I'm creating. As a result, it is important that I know my subject and important for me to paint from life. The smells and sounds of a landscape play into how I paint the landscapes I grew up in. The music accompanying a still life comes into play when I paint the objects that surrounded me as a child. Knowing who I am painting is the most important factor in many of my works, for the human figure has become the main inspiration in my life as an artist.  
          There have been three women who I have worked with who have inspired me to be more than simply a painter. They have helped me define what it means to me to be an artist. Working from life opens my artistic eye to who I am painting, adding that intangible needed to create real art. Colors appear that I had over looked before. Knowing who I am - really seeing, adds an understanding to both my own feelings and how I wish to express those feelings. Decisions are made as to what to put to canvas and how I portray my subject. Knowing my subject personally, I become aware of the feel of the paint leaving the brush. Thus, painting has become a moment of understanding.