Pretty damn pleased with myself and my amazing rockstar model @rah_fookinhell after our second sitting.
You can see the first sitting here!
I love the small portraits I’ve done this year, every one of them. However this is the first large personal project I’ve done since moving to Berlin and it is thrilling.
Having a big canvas and a model who really fits my aesthetic is like a deep dive into the source of my strength.
I’ve struggled to find muses like my amazing Bay Area loved ones here. That I was able to find such great working chemistry with such gorgeous and powerful people seems like a miracle to me now. That so many made time to work with me, some of them over and over, was such a gift.
Nearly all my paintings these last two years in Berlin have been of Bay Area folks who were visiting!
In Germany, even in Berlin, it’s not as easy to ask a total stranger or acquaintance to just come to my house and sit still for hours.
I feel absolutely blessed to have met Rah, who has a true feel for the work and also keeps the same hours I do!
She is very young, as was my Never-Muse when I began painting her, and it is really fun to be painting a fiery young person again. I was able to work for four hours straight in the second sitting, which is a big deal.
The Great Recession, my last bout of severe depression and treatment, and my devastating second divorce seemed to have broken my strength as an artist.
I haven’t been able to paint for more than a couple hours for years. Let alone for for two or even three four-hour sittings in a day as I did in 2005, when I first went back to working as an artist and committed to portraiture. I finished dozens of paintings a year, along with hundreds of drawings, the first four years.
But in 2009 things were sputtering to a halt and in 2010 I was working for another startup. My two 2010 paintings, the couple 2011 and 2012 paintings, one 2014 painting and four 2015 paintings were done in multiple short sittings. I just didn’t have the stamina.
Now I am recovering, at last. Yesterday I taught gesture drawing class AND drew at an event for four hours. I know it’s my Patrons and the freedom they give me that’s making this possible.