From painting

Day 15

Day 15

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Today’s pattern mixes handmade shapes with formal repetitions. It would work well on a tote bag, a notebook… Where else would you use it?

Agora, em português: a todos os que saíram à rua para se manifestarem contra a política de austeridade que este governo (mais troikista que a troika!) nos quer impor a todos, agradeço o terem saído. Com muita pena, estou longe e não posso comparecer (nem vale a pena mencionar o nosso consulado honorário). Sigo atentamente, ainda que de longe, a situação que é de todos nós, presentes e emigrados.

Una palabra también a mis amigos argentinos: vaya cacerolazo! Muy bien!

Day 13

Day 13

Although we are still in the first half of the month, I can already state that this project has been a success. A success for me, because of all the fun involved in creating a module and then seeing the magic happening with simple repetition. And a success in involvement, specially over on facebook, where you have given me so many ideas for applications. So, thank you all for your comments and suggestions, they have made my days.

Today’s pattern is also abstract. How do you like it? How would you use it? I love reading all your comments, so keep them coming!

Not a portrait

Painting (clearly not a portrait).

So, this is obviously not a portrait. I´m enjoying letting this painting become more abstract, although it did depart from nature. We´ll see how far in the figurative-abstract spectrum it will end. I´m recycling a canvas, it has lots of texture underneath. It appears that this exercise with no pressure at all (not even a wasted canvas) is really what I needed to enjoy playing with colours and brushstrokes again.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

Portrait finished

Portrait finished!

This is the last portrait, just finished today. It´s acrylic on canvas, as usual. Work in progress shots are here.

Today I started a new painting; this time, it won´t be a portrait, as I became a bit tired of working with faces and expressions. Like in knitting, I work on a project at a time, which tends to contribute to a bit of exhaustion after a while. We´ll see where this new path takes me.

Challenges and struggles

Best start to my day #painting #acryliconcanvas

Best start to my day II #painting #acryliconcanvas

I´ve mentioned here (too many times?) that my main challenge for 2012 is to paint everyday. I´ve been painting portraits, so far (I, II, III, IV), and I´ve felt different and mixed feelings about the process. Because of their nature – being a portrait, the portrayed should be recognizable – there´s an inherent lack of spontaneity in the initial steps, when faces and features are laid on the canvas. This has made me feel – more than once, I´m afraid – that I don´t want to “mess it up” in later stages… and there goes spontaneity again.

This has been a latent struggle in the work, so today I decided to tackle it by using larger brushes instead of fine ones and by putting more colours at once. It was a small step, I think, but a good one. The joy of painting is here again.

Eyes, portraits and vulnerability

Today is all about eyes. #painting #acryliconcanvas

Today is all about eyes. Every new portrait starts with an outline of shapes and then slowly proceeds to the details. In portraits, little differences have an enormous effect on the outcome of expressions or even on the actual recognition of the depicted. That´s why mouths, noses but very specially eyes are what consumes the biggest portion of the time spent on the work. Today I worked and reworked eyes and found that, contrary to my belief, the thinnest brush isn´t my best friend. A small, but not ultra thin, works best.

Also, and not totally unrelated, watched today the second Ted Talk by Brené Brown (both very interesting). What I took out of it: “vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation and creativity”, as is so eloquently put.

The painting every day challenge is having an interesting effect: I start to feel that I´m doing the same thing over and over and keeping myself safe in my comfort zone. I´m feeling the need to risk more and feel vulnerable and unsure (as right now, writing this); I can honestly say this talk appeared in my life at just the right time (as it usually happens).

I´ll go back to drawing no. March´s issue of “We´re in Panama!” is coming together.

Finished!

Maias, finished

It´s finished! This is the portrait I mentioned previously as being challenging: it had noses (ahem, they´re tricky) and many faces. Still, it was a pleasure to work on it and see my two beautiful, sweet nieces come to “life”.

It´s acrylic on canvas, 90cm x 70cm (about 35.4in x 27.5in).

You can see process pictures here.

3/4

Guida, finished

Here´s the portrait of my younger sister. This one posed a challenge for me because it was the first time I had 3/4 profile portrait to do. Noses are tricky!

But I´m happy with the result – and I believe so is she.

Progress shots are here.

A new portrait and a goal for 2012

After the 2011 goals wrap up the other day, it´s time I share one of my goals for this year. I wanted to try it for one month and then work it up, but I feel it is now quite my habit to begin my working day with some minutes (or some hours) on the balcony, painting.

My hardest-to-keep-up-with-goal for 2012 is, therefore, to paint every workday (not on weekends, not on vacation). My main medium is acrylic on canvas, which I love for its plasticity and lack of smell (compared to oil). I´m working on portraits and this is my second one for the year.

Clara´s portrait, finished

This is my youngest niece and it was the hardest portrait so far. But all the effort was worth it, as her verdict was positive: when I showed it to her, she recognized herself and said, “É a Cainha!”. This auntie melted (even more).

If you want to see process shots, head on over to flickr.

My next portrait is the first ever (for me) with the subject facing sideways… so there´s a nose!

First portrait in 2012

Setting up goals for 2011 and sharing them worked like a charm for me: I really made an effort to accomplish those objectives. A post on the subject is in progress and coming soon.

This year, one of my goals is to paint every work day. Last year, I called it the “March challenge” and saw a lot of fruits with my daily efforts. So this year the decision is to extend it twelvefold. So far, I´ve been successful.

January has been a month of birthdays, so my first 2012 painting is Diogo, who turned two and loves everything about balls (pelota, pelota!).
Diogo final (06)

It is acrylic on canvas, 50cm x 50cm (19.6in x 19.6in). You can see in progress shots here.