Monday, March 8, 2010

Brave



BRAVE is the theme this week at Illustration Friday. I think this portrait demo I did for a class I'm teaching fits the bill. In several ways:

1) It is brave of me to show an unfinished piece. In fact, a barely started piece. I was demonstrating how to start a portrait and then was kept busy individually assisting my students for the rest of the session.
2) Teachers have to be brave to do demos in general. There is nothing like standing there in front of a class for a little performance pressure! You need to talk, explain what you are doing and answer questions, while at the same time produce something the students will find worth emulating: yikes!
3) This model, whom I have hire frequently, strikes me as a brave soul. Also an artist, she is piecing together a living with modeling and art sales and other part-time jobs: living on the edge.

We artists have to be brave, and also a little strange, to do what we do.

Lily stepped back to get her canvas - so - into perspective. It was an odd road to be walking, this of painting. Out and out one went, further and further, until at last one seemed to be on a narrow plank, perfectly alone, over the sea.

~Virginia Woolf, from To the Lighthouse

16 comments:

Naomi said...

This is a nice delicate portrait.

kate said...

so true, artists have to be really brave. i think this is a great portrait, even if you see it as unfinished.

. justin segal said...

even your brave, unfinished portrait work is awesome. Thanks for sharing!

erin said...

very nice! (good quote too, love that book.)

cathyjune said...

It's very nice as it is, even unfinished.

INDIGENE said...

Oh Nancy, this is so wonderful, I hope you show more of this in progress or make a youtube video of you creating! You are fabulous dear one!

Isabelle said...

Very sensitive, beautiful portrait. I like the fact that it is unfinished, and the story that goes with it. Perfect fit with the word Brave!

Ren said...

Wow. I daresay I like this just as it is. I love that the face is so detailed and emerging from the abstracted body. :-)

elizabeth said...

Beautiful. I love the unfinished look, though I daresay it will be wonderful once it's finished, too.

Nancy Bea Miller said...

There is always such an appealing quality to the unfinished state of a painting! Yet, I feel compelled to press on and finish it up. Some freshness and looseness gets lost, but other benefits appear. Life is full of trade-offs.

Thanks everyone for your wonderfully generous comments!

Melinda said...

You're so right! So much bravery here. Reminds me that I should be a little more brave in posting unfinished pieces. ;)

This is such a great piece, though. Finished or unfinished. I think it looks great as it is! :)

Dara @ AVGCR said...

thanks for your comment. :) this is VERy powerful! i love the choice of colors.

MiKa Art said...

Wonderful! I love looking at the work on process - thank you for sharing!

elli said...

A great portrait I also love the palette in this :-)

Ginny Baker said...

Oh, it definitely takes a great deal of bravery to try to make your living as an artist, and to put yourself and your work out there for all the world to see on a regular basis! Great piece!

Abigail said...

beautiful! I love your work.