Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Stern Look

I worked on this painting some more today and got more of the forms figured out. The face of the boy (my father) looks super rough but I had to wait until the paint dried before I could do anything more to it. The fabric on both needs more work. I usually have to wait to add any real details. Tomorrow I will work on this some more.

I really like the composition of this piece. My grandmother's face still looks very intense. It definitely looks like her but I don't know if I like the look on her face. People may not want such a stern looking woman hanging on their wall. I have been making temporary bars out of paint and paper that I can just affix to my painting with tape to see if I like the look or to see how big the bar needs to be or position. I did that for this painting to see if it helps. I'm not sure it does but at the same time, I'm not sure it doesn't.

I'm also not sure I want to start working on a series without the bars yet. I wrote a grant to do a body of work like that but I'm not sure I want to start this before I find out whether or not I got the grant. I am so torn with this painting though. Cover or not to cover. That seems to be a constant dilemma for me whenever I paint a nice face. I don't want the bar to start being about covering the eyes of something that didn't come out as well as I would have liked or the converse, which is leaving the eyes of my nicer paintings. I think that would take away from the meaning of the bar and this series. I guess I'll wait until the painting is completely done before I decide.


  1. Hi Jhina, I think you're right that you should finish first. The bar does definitely take away the intensity of her look, but you are right to question your motives in using it. On the other hand, don't all your other people have smiling faces? Maybe it just bothers you because you know (and are related to) the people in the image?

  2. True, the others are usually smilling...or at least aren't this intense. There is so much that is going on with this that it's hard to tell what to do. We'll see what happens!