I am preparing for a solo show that is scheduled for September. It may seem too early for fretting but I assure you its not. Especially this time. Worry about having enough time to finish a new body of work is normal. Worry about the expense of materials is normal. This show feels very different to me because not only am I creating a new body of work, the work is a new challenge for me. I am painting portraits. This in of itself is not a departure because I have always seen the work I do as portraiture. Now instead of plants taking center stage or painting staged still lifes, I am painting people, people I love. What is old is always new again and so it is with me. In college, my focus was on figurative work. After graduation, marriage, moving and children, I had moved to describing a person's likeness or story through objects. A few years ago, I turned to the figure once again to paint about my feeling of reclaiming my bodily autonomy with a self-portrait entered into an annual human sexuality themed show. Old was new again and it felt good. Still, I did not commit to this yet because I was caught up in the cycle of painting portraits of my favorite plants that I grew myself. The holistic process of it fascinated me. Then a year or so ago a painter friend encouraged me to come along to a figure drawing session. It was difficult but it was lovely. To spend 2-3 hours drawing was wonderful. The human body -any human body- is amazing and enthralling. So a decision was made, no matter how rusty I felt, I am determined to make paintings centered on people again. Something clicked into place when I began to paint my family. It was an extra layer that pushes me to show more, add more onto the canvas than a physical likeness. True emotion is there as well as a snapshot into my little family at this time. So please continue to check back and see how this plays out. Ultimately it may only please me but it is a path I feel I need to travel.
work in progress