Thursday, October 30, 2014

Summer Portrait Project 2014

What an unexpected wonderful experience!

Here's the background behind my Summer Portrait Project:
It all started out when a course I was registered to ...take was cancelled (although I instruct courses, I like to learn from others as well to grow in my own practice). I sat down and reflected on where I was in my art career and process. I had paid for models all year and recently I had people starting to offer to model for me for free, refusing payment and only wanting to be apart of my creations and hoping to inspire, which is such an extraordinary gift that makes me speechless. I also have been paying for conferences and courses, all my supplies, and at the end of the day I have hundreds of paintings laying around. I asked myself if there was a way to further my education, without cost besides my time, with less traveling and where by the products of my studies don't lay around my studio collecting dust. That's when I came up with my Summer Portrait Project. These were the guide lines: To study as many faces as possible from the end of June to September 1st. To study different facial structures and skin tones by creating 8x10" oil sketches in under 1.5hrs from a live sitting. Charge $35.00 per oil sketch to cover the cost of materials and a bit for my time and then the oil sketches get to go home with the sitter.
So I put one (that's right only ONE!) call on Facebook asking for people interested in having their portrait sketch done, though I put out a reminder close to the end for those who had contacted me but not set dates. Life and the world gave me a great big 'Yes!' response, once again life proved if you are open to it, if you are passionate about it, and it is something you love, positive magnificent things will happen in your life encouraging you to follow your dreams and passions. Within one day I had 10 people scheduled to participate. I was blown away. I thought that I would get, at the most, 10 participants all summer. Now that the project is over I am astonished to say that I have completed 42 portrait sketches in just over 2 months. All from live sittings (except half way through I started to do the younger children from photo reference because they looked like they were being tortured after sitting for an hour, and yes they were all allowed breaks), and the paintings were each completed in 1.5hrs or less. It sparked some interest from a journalist who wrote an article (read the article) on my work and the project. The income allowed me to hire a part time assistant. It lead to some commission work. The documentation of the process also sparked interest from patrons and galleries all over the world. Now I'm in the process of putting together work for 3 upcoming shows that will be within the next 6months and course outlines for some upcoming workshops.
I write this in the hopes that it encourages people to put aside their fear and self-doubt and to go out and do what you love to do and to think outside the box to make a living at it. Also, to have the courage to put yourself out there, you never know what it may lead to. For me things are snowballing and I get to do what I love to do, paint! And to communicate to others ideas that I have through painting the human figure.
To all those who participated I send you a huge THANK YOU! As well to those who have been following my Summer Portrait Project and contributing their encouraging words, and to all those who I am fortunate to work with now and in the future. I cannot forget my family for their encouragement and patience.

 Portrait Sketch of Seamus Portrait Sketch of Kurtis Portrait Sketch of Kris Portrait Sketch of Patrick

Portrait Sketch of Blaize
 Portrait Sketch of Jude Portrait sketch of Quintin Portrait Sketch of Bram

Portrait Sketch Portrait Sketch of Corinne Portrait Sketch of Marguerite

Portrait Sketch of Ava Portrait Sketch of Kayla

Portrait Sketch of Molly Portrait Sketch of Henry

Portrait Sketch of Noah  Portrait Sketch of Roger

Portrait Sketch of Trent  Portrait Sketch of Elizabeth

Portrait Sketch of Parker        Portrait Sketch of Eva

Portrait Sketch of Layne  Portrait Sketch of Kaydence

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