I continue to love figurative painting. I am grateful that Jackson Hole Art Association hosts weekly modeling sessions. It's great to keep practicing those skills. Makes me miss my Tuesday and Thursday afternoon drawing buddies at home. Portrait painting is so completely different from landscape. Outside you see so much. You're always trying to simplify and see big shapes and eliminate detail. With portraits, the tiniest change of a line; and I mean the tiniest change, can make all the difference. And yes, you still do have to simplify, but certain details matter a great deal. I find myself losing focus and getting bored with landscape at times. A face however, can completely absorb my focus for hours and hours.
These are two that I have done this month.
I have also had the great pleasure of having my own portrait done by two wonderful local Jackson Hole artists. Last summer Katy Ann Fox painted my portrait during the Driggs Digs Plein Air week. I love, love her work. She is so young, so talented, so very friendly. She's an Idaho girl after all.
A few weeks ago I sat for my friend Eliot Goss. Eliot is such a cool guy. He worked as an architect in Jackson Hole for many years and now he is mostly retired and he paints, paints, and paints. We paint together with our plein air group and also during our weekly portrait group at the Art Association. His studio is stunning with huge windows overlooking the Tetons and floor to ceiling paintings covering the walls. Sitting quietly in this beautiful space, looking out the window while Eliot painted me was such a delightful experience. I was very aware of what was going on in his mind. I knew all of the questions he was asking himself. And if you ask any model, they will tell you; it is a unique feeling to be looked at so closely. It's an intimate feeling but at the same time, completely objective. I love how Eliot paints. Fast and free. You can see his background in design and in drawing coming through but also something more. Creating Art is so much more than just rendering. Portrait painting is so endlessly fascinating to me for this reason. Catching a likeness is incredibly fun and gratifying. But it's the individual interpretation, the creative nature that really turns me on. I love both of these portraits and am grateful to call Katy and Eliot my friends. My very inspiring friends.