Drawing and painting from life is fun and challenging. With a live model, even if they sit still, they change ever so slightly with every breath. And with animals, well, they never sit still! So why do it??
I work from real life as much as I possibly can for a couple of reasons. First and foremost because the human eye sees in three dimensions: height/length/depth and a camera sees in two: height/length. Therefore working from real life provides more information for painting. Secondly, I really enjoy figuring out how to translate what I see in 3-D into a 2-D painting that looks 3-D!
When I work with animals if possible I start by spending time with them and sketching them in their environment. Then I take a few reference photos and once back in the studio work on creating an interesting composition that somehow captures the personality of the animal. If I cover the whole paper with pastel then it's considered a painting, but if I don't then it is a sketch.
When I work with people, we generally we end up talking a lot and I really enjoy learning who these women are. So much so that I've begun planning for a show displaying them all collected in one place. A celebration of the women in this community.
Check out my blog for more information on how I paint portraits.
Click on any of the images below to read the backstory of what led to the painting being created.
I did an experiment to see if strong women have any relationship to how rattlesnakes are both seen and managed in our society, and they do. Read more about this connection on my BLOG post "An Idea is Born". Below are portraits of several "Rattlesnakes" I've befriended here in Northeastern New Mexico.
Through my volunteer work with the Animal Welfare Coalition of Northeastern New Mexico I've met a lot of exceptional dogs and cats and have been fortunate to spend enough time with a few of them to capture their likeness. Along the way I've also painted some commissions of family pets. Use the form below to contact me if you'd like one too!
Fill out this form to inquire about a commissioning a painting.