Well in between dodging the Christmas Holiday cooking, making gifts for other people and doing tax reports, catching up on paper work taking care of an elderly parent, among other things…. I worked on my painting of Josie. It started out innocently enough, and the first lay ins went like a dream but then the holiday distracted me and this is where I took a left turn and had to battle my way back. At one point I was almost deciding to repaint the piece from scratch …. so I contacted someone who knows a thing or two about portrait painting and she said “just keep picking at it”. I waited a day then looked at it again and wondered how I could solve the problem I was having… at any rate, I knew I had some work ahead of me to recapture what I had at the beginning back in that prehistoric time when painting just seemed to click into place. So I wandered around and around on this painting and finally seemed to turn the corner. All to do with the eyes really. One eye squinting just a bit more due to the reflected light off of the reflective cloth. Reflections everywhere. At any rate, I learned a lot on my journey and feel that I accomplished what I wanted to with this painting and I also learned how I would do it differently approaching the next painting. Coming down to the finish line so hoping finish up the tweaking in 2015. Happy New Year everyone.
NOTE: I’m going to aim at publishing my New Portfolio news on the 2nd Tuesday of the month since I am developing several fronts at the same time.
2015 will be the third year of working on my newest portfolio of oil paintings and to date unseen works. It has been slow going… but it would be misleading to say it only took me three years to arrive at this point. I’ve not been one of the lucky ones who had the opportunity to study 4-5 years in an academic setting but this doesn’t mean I haven’t been studying. I took classes along the way, starting with a workshop with Mary Ekroos , Daniel Greene back in the 80s somewhere, then Raymond Kinstler and then Sam Adoquei’s Academic Atelier at the National Academy in the 90s while I continued actually earning a living with landscape /seascape plein air paintings. Through all of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune I kept exploring until all the puzzle pieces began to fit. My final leg of the artistic journey will be the combination of what I have been painting, water, with something I have only touched upon until now, portraiture.
I have been painting people all along, friends posed for me while I was on location and I’ve painted and sold most of those as I went. Another friend taught me a great deal about Waterhouse, Leighton and Rossetti with their dreamy quality in classical realism and Flaming June (definitely one of my top three all time painting) and I started to leave the ground with Mucha, Lalique and Maxfield Parrish. I’m getting closer to what I want to create at this point and I’m beginning to like what I see. I like to get a thrill from painting and those things that thrill me most are painting movement in water and it’s interaction with light and color on the subject, this is what I wanted to incorporate into a Chapin Water Portraits.
So I have followed Sargent‘s advice, following the path for 35 years of exploring and painting everything else first and finally portraits. My kind of portrait, with water untethering the model from the restraints of reality and gravity, developing the interaction with line and color and dreaming in reality.
The models and I experimented, to create and depict my ideas and together we’ve started the creative process and exploration of the subject. Can’t wait to see how this evolves. This is the beginning of my project, you can see the work as it develops and we’ll see where it will go from here as I begin to compile the works on my website in my newest category: Water Portraits: In, On and Around Water by Deborah Chapin see: http://gallery.deborahchapin.com/portfolio_category/water-portraits-figurative-by-deborah-chapin/ At the same time I’ll be developing a Book of Water which you can see develop here: http://gallery.deborahchapin.com/portfolio_category/book-of-water/
For those who still like to be tethered to the beach fear not, I’m working on one as we speak for the Mystic International. So, I am still working on those as well and still love doing them. The figure en plein air. There are many facets to an artist’s career and the artist must be an explorer.