Sifting Through Inspiration

Sifting through inspiration.

I am now back in the studio. Traveling has been rejuvenating, as always. Going back to France and Paris where I lived and studied, where I have good friends, has been…well, a moveable feast, as Hemingway wrote. 

My head is filled with images and my mind brimming with ideas. Sifting through them, I keep coming back to certain ideas that had actually been gestating for a while, even before my departure. Some of those I shared with you, as in my last two posts about spaces and people in museums. 

I want to explore the idea of space a little bit more now: space in the representation of nature, and people in spaces. I am curious to see how color can express form and depth in a composition, how forms in nature relate to each other and indicate space, and how people become visually part of the space they are in.  

Since I hadn’t done any portraits for a while, I was itching to do so, and I started with a small portrait of a fellow attendee of our Mastermind from Seth Godin’s Marketing Seminar, Shelley Graner.

It’s always best to draw or paint from life, I think.  For one thing, the space is real and deeper than a photograph. For another, time and movement add life to it, which a photograph can’t because it is fixed in time and a lens does not move constantly like our eyes do. But today, I merely wanted to get going, and since I had no model on hand, I was inspired by a caption in a video. 

The image was small and blurry, which suited me for this sketch. I am not looking for accurate portraiture, rather for an evocation of a presence, or a moment. On the video, Shelley appeared in sepia tones and we joked about her looking like a Rembrandt portrait. I did not manage the Rembrandt effect so well but the exercise was fun.

I did it with gouache because it is a water based paint that allows for quick sketches, and has a body that resembles acrylic or oil paint. It has solidity and I am looking for that now.

So there’s a start. Let’s see where this take me.

Louise Jalbert, “Shelley”, 2017, Gouache on paper, 3.5 x 3 inches