Friday, February 25, 2011

Janet Armour is Face #54

"Janet Armour: Face #54", oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Janet and I spent a comfortable, easy afternoon together getting Face #54 to appear on its 12"x12" board. My initial scribblings (with the darks in Transparent Earth Red and French Ultramarine Blue) didn't look much like her so once I had the clues I needed, I tackled color and the lights. So, Janet didn't get to see it too early on. I waited until I thought she'd see herself.

As much as I intend to document my progress developing the painting, it's easy to forget to take photos until I'm well into the process. There is ...  always ... lots to juggle and think about.

Janet and I talked about family, dealing with hardships, and breaking from our past work lives. Once both of us "quit" our careers, we realized just how much we didn't want to go back to those roles/tasks/thoughts. I think we're both good at moving on, adapting to new lives and treasuring newly found freedoms. Janet realizes that the time is now to live life to its fullest and that realization organizes her priorities. A smart way to simplify decision-making.

As I was painting, Janet was thinking about what I might be doing behind the easel. I think she was more curious about that than most of my other sitters. With others, I'm the person at the other end of the conversation and they are less aware of my "job" as painter. Janet's observant. Looked at everything around her. She'd completely cleared her schedule so she didn't need to worry about getting someplace and I didn't have to worry about finishing within a certain timeframe. That was relaxing.

Face #54 emerged steadily, easily. What's getting interesting for me is that as I paint face after face, each alla prima portrait gets more and more distinct. Likenesses get stronger. I adapt better. That said ... I hope I paint as well tomorrow.

I tell my sitters I don't see perfectly. I'm not 20/20. Not bad, but I don't see the details which is just as well. I just don't think details matter ... and they may just get in the way of a good painting. It's this non-close-up, generalized, undetailed view that I believe gives a true "picture" of the person.

Janet and I were both happy with the end result and the journey.

Next Up
Tomorrow's sitter is the 14-year-old daughter of another one of my faces.

100 Faces Project Page Updated on My Web Site Yesterday - Take a look
Read more about my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project on earlier blog posts (there are 54 of them starting January 1) and on my web site: on my 100 Faces Project Page (link to it from my home page). 

100 Faces in 100 Days Project:
Phone: 703.403.7435

No comments: