Sitting for a painted portrait is an unusual and intimate experience. It involves taking time out of normal life, of sitting still, being looked at and listened to, listening and sharing. In the age of the digital, online selfie, including staged and shallow self representations along with mass exposure and over sharing, this process contrasts with its slowness, intensity and physical presence. It is a reminder that we are not pixels, that personal relations are important and require time, presence and reflection
Personal interaction between the sitter(s) and me is essential to allowing issues of concern (to all present) to come forward. Playfulness is sometimes important. I work from life, at least, as the work begins, to experience and capture the animating quality of color & light and connect with the portrayed. Later, working alone in the studio, I have time to reflect on the interaction and look for meanings in the issues that arose during the sitting. I might then revise or add to the work, based on these ruminations.
Experimenting with mediums other that oil, and getting out of the studio, painting in nature, freshens and informs my studio practice.