Monday, May 30, 2011

#20, & Project Complete

Last one.

Torso is a little squat. I have to say, I felt pressure for the last one to be the best. And I don't think it is. But I do think there is a clear improvement from where I started to where I finished.

I had direction and order towards the end of this, so I had better control over the painting. The question starts to become, if I can control the painting, then what do I really want the painting to say? If I like portraiture, why? I know I like the framed windows in the background, but what are those big color blocks saying? Or is it the clear pattern of squares I am responding to? The repetition as a metaphor for daily life?
So now, what should I do next to continue exploring?


#19: This has been a beautiful weekend! It is supposed to be thunder storming right now, but instead Dorchester is sunny and 84 degrees! Love it! On the porch today. I set Amira up with her paints as well while I started this piece. Then finished it while she napped. She just stomped in this room waking up from her nap. Daddy is still sleeping on the couch. So I will move on from writing this post. But I do feel like I am getting a little more consistent with some of my work. One more to go!

Sunday, May 29, 2011


My parent's and sister are up for the Holiday. I decided to take a small break from my self portraits to give painting others a try.

So I painted my mom and dad while my sister and husband competed at scrabble. This painting took about an hour and a half, which to me does not seem like a lot of time. I feel like I need much more time to really polish a piece. I don't start until after 8, which gives me about two hours start to finish before I am really tired. Sitting still for the subject is also difficult and we had a long day before this. But the biggest problem with painting other people, they never like how they look.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Very pastel tonight. And I look like I am clenching my jaw! This paper is not white, so I am able to build up some of highlights without feeling as muddy. I am starting to really want to paint someone else. Maybe a family portrait? Like this one from Benjamin West in the 18C.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

#17, and 30 YO Today

This morning, Adrian said to Amira, "do you want to say Happy Birthday to Mommy?" Amira began singing the Happy Birthday song! Neither of us even knew she knew it. It was the best birthday surprise:)

Lately, Amira has been carrying a baby doll with her, EVERYWHERE!

But she did put it aside for a minute this evening to play with her art materials.

Despite the fact that she has painted on my paintings, repeatedly, I love her interest in drawing!

#17, An out of town friend came into town. We went to the MFA and the Isabella Stewart Gardner museums. I love Sargent. I know portraiture isn't the most popular genre in art these days, but I love looking at painted portraits, especially family ones. The insight into cultural expectations, and family dynamics always feels relevant, and personal.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Adrian is right, hands need more definition.
I have to say, taking a picture and posting in this format lets me look at the painting with fresh eyes. It becomes clear where my focus is and is not. Or where my confidence is, and where I am overworking from dissatisfaction. The eyes seem clear, but the hands are thick. The heel is a quick gesture, but the fingers bare the evidence of earlier versions beneath.
Only a few more versions to go!

Monday, May 23, 2011

#15 & 16?

I actually started this one last night. But then Adrian was laying on the couch, and I wanted to lay down with him. Then I woke up and went to bed. I have no memory of actually laying on the couch.

I continued the same painting today, with a lot of over painting. Which is why it feels like 15 and 16. I thought about leaving yesterday's where it was, but what a waste of paper! At the end of the day, I am going to want 20 to compare since that was the project, so # 15 just took twice as long.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

#14 & a Sunny Day!

The sun came out for a few hours today, quite unbelievably.

(Amira spying on a cat that jumped the fence, a feat our cat could never accomplish.)

And #14, outside again! It has been a little more than two weeks since I started this, likely three weeks. With the nice weather, I painted this while Amira napped. Though when she was awake again, she wanted to participate, and in an unsupervised moment smeared magenta paint in the center of my painting. One of the hurdles I need to figure out.

Friday, May 20, 2011

#12 & #13

My neck is very stiff tonight. Can you tell? We recently purchased some new pillows, and I don't think my body likes them.

#13, I generally like to consider the environment, to talk about patterns, and framing as a way of expressing how at home, people share so many commonalities. But I am focusing more and more on my face, is this just my vanity?

#12, well judging by this one, vanity isn't a huge issue. Truthfully, this isn't done. At all. I did a gesture, but it was started so late in the evening, I gave up and went to bed. Thursdays Adrian teaches "Drawing in Pubs", so after work, I pick up Amira, come home, make dinner, play with her, do bath and bed, and by then it is 9pm. And since I arrived at work at 7:30am, I am pretty beat. That is a big reason for me to keep going with this project. To push me to do something towards my personal goals.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

#8,9,10 & 11

I plan to get to 20, but in more than 20 days. .

#11: This picture is an Amira/Mommy collaboration. While I was running her bath, she got into the black ink and contributed her own strokes.

#10: The last two nights I have had a headache (migraine? it lasted soo long.) I went to bed instead of painting. I woke up this morning, headache free and did this piece quickly before work.

#9: Feels boxy.

#8: In this last week, we traveled to upstate NY for my sister's graduation, which made painting on those days a little difficult. Additionally, my parents do not have a full length mirror. I decided to draw my sister instead of me. However, Amira does not go to bed at Grandma and Grandpa's so there were some serious distractions that kept this painting from developing. Not to mention my sister's inability to sit still. She is playing scrabble, who knew that was an active game!

I have passed the halfway point. Each of these still seem pretty different, I don't know if that is reflective of my varying moods, or a lack of control. This is an investigation in many ways though, and hopefully I will learn some more.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Now I just look tired.

I did not hit snooze this morning, but I was pretty tired most of the day. It has been so dreary here in Beantown.
# 7 complete.
I think they are starting to feel less forced, maybe less muddy in some areas. But the fluid quality of a gesture is not quite there. I love gestures for exposing our real shape. I also need to draw in the surrounding environment more. I like to do this with light, but drawing at night, the light in the home feels so even. I will say, I like the rug in the indoor versions. The graphic pattern is a striking element.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Hmm, I look a little less than thrilled...

The day started off well, but somewhere on my route home, I fell into melancholy. And then little things began to pile up, a stubbed toe, a pinched finger. Maybe I shouldn't have watched the movie "Up", the beginning was remarkably sad. I missed part of the middle and the end due to dinner and bath-time, so I think I missed most of the uplifting parts. I did see the old man welcome the dog into his floating house. That was nice. But, I did finish #6, and it is before 10pm. Adrian is sleeping on the couch next to me, which is too bad because I like when he cleans up dinner. So a few chores and then bedtime. And in the morning, I will try not to hit snooze.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Did another one.

Today I went to work and tried to catch up on follow up from last week, when I was too congested and tired to call anyone. I picked Amira up from daycare ("school") and we went to the grocery store. We came home where Adrian was already, with an old friend. Adrian and his friend left to watch the Celtics game at a local bar. Amira and I ate tacos, she said "salsa." We cuddled on the couch, had bath time, read "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish", "The Going to Bed Book", and "Goodnight Moon." She went to bed, I cleaned up dinner. And then, I stuck to my plan. And I think I am starting to loosen up.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

#3 & #4

I missed Friday. I was out of the house from 7:30am until 10pm, and I was tired when I came home. This has been a struggle for a long time. How to keep up with art, when I have full time job, a husband, a child, and occasionally friends. But I did do art related things on Friday. We went to the Community Arts Initiative Artist Project opening. Then I went with an old co-worker to First Friday. We saw some interesting pieces, and we saw some pieces that make me feel like I am not the only "artist" out of practice.

It is a little chilly tonight, so I moved inside. I thought I could still see the same houses through the windows, but then I ignored them while painting.

This piece I did during the day waiting for my mom and sister to arrive. Adrian said I need to stop hiding my hands, that no matter how good I am, that will never look normal.

And my little girl getting some work done as well!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 2

Today was a long day. I was in early for a committee meeting, had four meetings with members, and an after work networking event. The last being cinco de mayo themed, so not too bad. But still, all this activity added up to a twelve hour work day. I got home just in time to say goodnight to Amira, and start this painting before the sun completely set.
Nighttime came.
My painting got muddier and muddier.
The clearest part are the clenched real life my hands were much more relaxed than this.
Against better odds, day 2 of this project is accomplished!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May Assignment

I was home today, as we closed our office to rest after a successful Annual Dinner. I decided to bring Amira to daycare, after much internal turmoil. ..but some time to myself has been a long time coming.
At first I thought I should clean the house, be "productive." I did do the laundry and thoroughly cleaned the living room. The prospect of cleaning the whole house started to seem, well, boring, and not the best way to spend alone time. So I listened to my husband and painted.

I feel certainly rusty. But...there may be a start to something. I often feel that I am all over the map with my art (and craft). My lack of focus is my biggest hindrance towards success. And while this piece is flawed in many ways, I think something in it is connecting my thoughts together.
In college, we had an assignment to draw the same thing everyday for 20 days. There were some really interesting results from this project. There was improvement in technique. Additionally, the discipline of drawing the same thing over and over helped solidify the concept behind the piece.
I think I may have to attempt this task again.
Though finding the time will be a struggle.
Think I can do it?