I’ve been struggling with a portrait for a few months now and whenever that happens I find it’s best to start a new canvas, so I painted over a really bad portrait of Rob Cottone. It was too small of a canvas for what I wanted to accomplish and my brushes felt too big. I wasn’t feeling the magic so a couple of thick coats of dove blue paint took away the pain.
I have this giant wobbly flexi-plexi funhouse type of mirror in the studio that I often stare into for inspiration. I decided to use this canvas for a fun self portrait. I started with a very wet fleshy colored shape to represent the very fleshy shape that sits on my shoulders. I used the squirt bottle to make it drip and run. I painted it with the canvas lying flat on the table in front of the mirror and then I’d lift it up just a bit to let the paint make it’s way down the canvas. I turned a fan on to help it dry faster and when it was dry, I started sketching with a pencil in one hand, a brush in another hand and the other hand in a bag of kettle chips.
I mounted the new canvas on top of the portrait I’m working on and went to work. I took it down, laid it in front of a fan some more and worked on the big portrait, then came back to it again. I went back and forth all night. That seems to work for me. It can be frustrating at times when I’m trying to paint a photo realistic portrait, so this loose sloppy painting is very therapeutic and that’s what I need tonight.
After another evening in the studio standing before the mirror, the portrait evolved and I’m happy to say, “It’s finished!”