Capstone part 1.

            During the beginning of my senior year of undergrad I began my capstone course. Interdisciplinary studies is my major with a focus of studio art and art history. The first semester of my capstone is the seminar section. Throughout this section, I researched contemporary artists and assembled all of my research in a capstone journal with various sections; Artist research, exhibitions in Rome, Annotations of suggested readings & general research which referred to concepts, thoughts and direction for my artistic practice.  This journal is a tool I will continue to augment, utilize and refer back to.

            My last assignment for the semester was to paint 20 portraits within 2 weeks. When my professor, Prof. Catherine Parsonage, @cathparsonage assigned this undertaking I thought to myself holy F%#*!, I can do this right?? super unsure, but I’ll give it a go!

             On December 1st, I started with a photo from my image catalog, a vintage photograph of Diana Ross from the movie Mahogany. The angle was difficult and I obsessed over the nose adjusting it multiple times. The failure of the 1st portrait set in some procrastination, only 1 day but when you have 2 weeks to complete 20 paintings 1-day matters! A few days later my professor messaged me to ask how the paintings were coming along, I said crappy, she then replied, “its not about good or bad”. This really resonated with me and helped me get over my feelings of failure. From this point on I would continue on with the 19 more paintings I needed to complete. I began to stop obsessing over anatomical features. Once a certain feature was identifiable, I would move on. I also incorporated new techniques I learned in my painting workshop course, the use of oil paint in a translucent way, and utilizing a rag to connect directly with the canvas.

            Throughout this series of twenty oil paintings, aspects of my research subconsciously influenced and surfaced as my paintings progressed. I would say by painting number eight, I began to understand the exercise. The new ways in which I approach a portrait, and the development of form, is the beginnings of my personal visual language.  

studio vibes…

reusing an old canvas… but i’m kinda liking the the light blue for a background…
or… maybe i leave it just like this hmmmmm, i might keep more of the background than the original idea…
a third portrait has been added….
troubles with the fourth portrait, at this point i only like the lip on this portrait and i’m thinking about the light blue background…. and the red and the dark navy blue arch I would like to actually keep some of these details..
decided to go with the blue


With a thought of self love in mind I purchased 2 bunches of peonies for myself. I’m a big believer of self-love and partake in the practice often, but I hadn’t purchased blooms for myself in quite a while.  So last Sunday while out at the farmers market perusing flower stands, these lovely peonies caught my eye. I have not painted many flowers because it is very difficult, and I do not have a lot of experience painting them.  But I love flowers and would like to incorporate floral painting into my body of work.

I purchased two bunches one in a medium shade of pink and the other in white. Once home I clipped the bottoms filled the vase up with water and began arranging the peonies for my still life painting.

Next, I set up my work-space by overloading my dining room table with; oil paints, brushes, painting medium, mineral spirits and palette paper. Now I’m ready to mix paints.

Now for the fun part mixing paints!

When I was in middle school my mother taught elementary at the same school. So after school I would go to her classroom and pull out all of her paints and mix colors.  I loved mixing white with the primary colors to create pastel version of them.  I would mix red and white to create pinks and white with blue to create shades of blue.  I went through a lot of white!!!

As I write this post the smell of summer drifts into my creative space. The weather today is perfect and my neighbors are starting to BBQ. As I look out my window I see palm trees blowing in the wind softly, the sky is a touch darker and bit warmer than the light blue shade on my pallet above. Its time for me to go outside! So I’ll wrap this up.

When I first decided to paint my peonies, I knew I wanted a dark background that evoked emotion, passion and mystery.

Self-love is a ritual that everyone should participate in because no one will take better care of you than you. You must first love yourself.

#selflove #firstlove