For the last month or so I have been working simultaneously on a portrait and a landscape (amongst other projects here and there). This has really made me curious as to whether or not there is a connection between a portrait and a landscape painting! I have always enjoyed painting portraits. However, ever since painting the large landscape paintings for Acqua, I have had landscapes on my mind. More specifically, large landscape scenes (painted on large canvases) with no real focal point- just wide open spaces.
I have also wanted to work on my portrait drawing skills. So, I had my niece Kara come and sit for me in my studio at the end of summer. Painting/drawing in real life vs. from a photo is a very different experience! It was certainly a challenge. After two hours I set Kara free, and depended on good photographs that I took to finish it off.
My plan now is to work on another 'live sitting' portrait... and start on another large landscape painting. And I will keep wondering about a possible connection between the two different subjects.
This past weekend was spent up North for the annual Goossen Cottage weekend. I took advantage of my family laying still on the dock, and practiced some drawing skills with some 5-10 min portrait sketches (and I loved it that my Mom and Dad were also sketching on the dock with me!).
Along with many others, I have found portrait drawing very intimidating... but have found it very helpful to focus on negative shapes and line relationships. It's also very important to keep in mind that the goal of drawing and sketching shouldn't be to produce a photo on paper... you are creating a personal impression.
All summer long I have been deeply enjoying my new studio. My daughters have been enjoying it along with me - colouring, drawing, creating... it's great to be working side by side with my girls, each doing our own thing. I've been working on some new paintings - a landscape and portrait, as well as some commissioned portraits (I will post more on my new work soon).
Now that my youngest daughter is in school part-time, I'll be able to spend more time in my studio.
I live in Southern Ontario on a farm with my husband, Dennis, and our two daughters. Painting out of my studio on our farm allows me to stay close to my family and to be surrounded by the natural landscape that continues to influence my work.