Vacations are usually not a very productive time for me when it comes to making art. The past couple of posts stand as evidence. Between eating, visiting, and sight-seeing, I can only eke out about one picture per week of vacation.
The trip to New York that just wrapped up was no exception to this rule. Fortunately, the one complete piece that came out of it is a lovely homage to a fellow artist and dear friend, Lila Freeman.
Lila and I attended Pratt Institute together until I dropped out. She was my most constant friend, inspiring me mainly through the force of her personality and leaving an indelible mark on my musical taste.
Yes, you have her to blame for all the Morrissey quotes.
So Tony and I jumped at the chance to visit her during an open art studio event in Bushwick, Brooklyn. She opened her studio to friends and the public. A good time was had by all. And this portrait resulted from it, too.
Since my friend was busy, I had to paint fast, and work with her ‘pose’ shifting throughout the afternoon. It was a good exercise; it forced me to work quickly, and be decisive about color choices. I eschewed the usual preliminary pencil drawing, opting instead for a quick underpainting in a very light wash.
The picture is far from a photographic likeness: Lila doesn’t approve of the nose, the eyes are blurry, and her neck is a bit thick & undefined. That said, her personality is captured to my satisfaction and the hair is spot-on.
In other art-related news, Tony and I broke a world record for seeing almost the entire Museum of Modern Art in one hour. As it turns out, all those color-field paintings and minimalist constructions are much more interesting when viewed at a gallop, anyway.
Now having returned, I’ve already put the finishing touches on another large watercolor. Keep your eyes peeled for that in coming days.