I’m Still Here!

Okay, I know that blogger rules say that you’re not supposed to acknowledge when you haven’t posted in a long time, but damn, I haven’t posted in a long time. I’ve obviously still been painting, but my social media activities have pretty much been limited to instagram and lurking on facebook occasionally. I’ve been producing a lot of work, and at this point I’ve realized that I should start writing about what I’m making again. I’ve always enjoyed reading artists’ thoughts on their own work, and I’m even fully conscious of how helpful it’s been for me in the past to sit down and write about what the hell it is that I’m making. But, for whatever reason, I stopped writing for almost a year! Is this what my professors warned me about- life getting in the way of an art practice? Luckily, the only thing that got neglected was a blog and not the actual creating of art, but yeesh!

So, a small summary of where I am:

I’m working on (and have been working on for a while now) a series of self portraits that are an offshoot of the “Clown” series. In this series, I play around with the variety of sheet masks that are all the rage right now in skin care:

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The first one in the series: “Sheet Mask I” | oil on canvas | 14×18″

I felt like the sheet masks were ripe material for my continuing exploration of feminine beauty rituals and how those rituals reflect or impact how we see ourselves. I mean, it’s literally a mask- it was too good to pass up. It’s also interesting to go from a very pop-art-ish painting style now to this darker, almost baroque inspired painting style. I’ll definitely be writing more about this series!

Meanwhile, I’ve also continued to experiment with the cyanotypes. I’ve moved into exploring the possibilities offered by both fabric and film transparencies:

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Cyanotype: Underwear II | cyanotype on Arches Hot Press | 12×16″ | Private Collection

I’ve done an entire collection of lingerie cyanotypes. I still want to figure out a way to push them even further, but for now I’m happy with them just looking like haunted underwear.

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Lil lollipop from a transparency, made for my Mom

This is one of the transparencies- made by taking a black and white (digital) photograph, inverting the values, and printing it on transparency. Then, I place it on top of the sensitized cyanotype paper in the sunlight to make a print, just as with the physical objects.

So, that’s pretty much where I’m at right now! I’m going to start writing more regularly, as I’ve missed this old place. Thank you to anyone who’s stuck around, and I hope you enjoy the posts to come!

Body Image and Life Drawing

Recently I started to do some portrait modelling at an art school. I’ve been on the artist side of this equation many times, but this is my first time being the model. Remaining still, being stared at, and sitting and re-sitting in the exact. same. position. for extended periods of time is definitely harder than it looks. It’s also weird to walk around the room and see other people’s paintings of me, even though I paint myself all the time. And it’s just nice to be in the classroom environment again.

I didn’t opt to do nude modelling, since I was kinda unsure about doing it and that’s something you need to be REALLY sure you want to do (I had a few models in college that were clearly very nervous and uncomfortable which then creates an uncomfortable energy in the room.) But I did get to talking to a few of the more seasoned models at the school about their experiences. We talked about how life drawing/painting classes are a truly  unique context to see a naked body in, while also being probably the most positive and affirming. I honestly think everyone should take one of these classes if they can.

A life drawing class at Vassar, from the 1930′ s. Image via

So many people aren’t used to seeing the naked human form, especially the naked female form, in a non-sexualized context. So, when I took my first figure drawing class my sophomore year in college, I guess there was some initial awkwardness. Life drawing is a different kind of objectification- you’re seeing the body as it really is, as the point of the class is to replicate what is in front of you with observational accuracy. You break down the body into shapes, planes, values, etc. just as you would with any still life of actual objects. Simply as a fellow human being with a body of her own, observing a variety of body shapes like this honestly made me feel more comfortable in my own skin. Seeing that everyone has somewhat uneven skintone, birthmarks, scars, stretch marks, and other features that we all stress waaay too much over and will oftentimes illogically think that we’re the only ones with these flaws, feels almost therapeutic.

I’ll leave you with Stephen Colbert (as Chuck Noblet in the excellent Strangers with Candy) doing life drawing modelling because… reasons ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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