The longer we wait to do something that needs to get done, the grander the overwhelm. That's procrastination and we all face it. Most notable case in point is what's happening socially in our country with racial inequality. Thing is, we haven't been "waiting" to do anything about it. Speaking as a white person of privilege that I am learning to acknowledge, it's never been a thing of real honest pure discussion. No activism. No posting about systemic injustice or police brutality on Instagram/Facebook feeds. No protests. No uncomfortable chats. Then shit quite literally hit the fan and even white people were fed the fuck up. The rightful rage spread across the nation and we finally joined in being loud about doing something about it. But it has only been a couple of weeks and the overwhelm that we've been feeling is coming from all the work we have NOT done in the past in regards to learning and unlearning. It's taken me too long. Shamefully too long. I'm not going to go down the list of things I've been actively doing to help make a change. That's not why I'm writing this blog post, but the point is, I am finally climbing up the monument along with millions of others and it's about fucking time. A painting inspired by activism is currently in the works. I will not say much but I'm very excited about it and will be auctioning it off with proceeds going towards a Black Lives Matter charity (still deciding which).
ART FROM THE PAST 6 WEEKS
part 1 of 2
Speaking of taking too long to get something done and feeling the "overwhelm"....my last blog post was on April 26. I have done a lot since then! The longer it takes me to write an entry, especially with quite a bit to talk about, the more I end up procrastinating. You feel me, right? Ok, since the Kobe Bryant commission, I have completed 4 paintings plus some cool chalk art on the sidewalk in front of our house. Normally, each piece would be followed by it's own blog post but that's all in the past now! Putting it off for weeks and weeks and then finally sitting at my laptop to write about it seems to be the thing I do. The good news about that is that I know it's because I'm spending every available moment in front of a canvas and some acrylic or watercolor paints. So, I decided to break up all that I want to share into 2 blog posts instead of overwhelm you guys with a damn 8 minute one that nobody has time for.
PAUL'S TUDOR "BIRTHDAY" PORTRAIT
Paul's birthday was on March 26th. A week after the lockdown order. Obviously, celebration was non-existent but he didn't mind much. We had been binge watching What We Do In The Shadows, an FX show but catching it on Hulu. In the opening credits, Lazlo, one of the vampire characters has his portrait depicted in a very regal Elizabethen Tudor time period with the classic Shakespearean ruffled collar.
"I know what I want for my birthday!!!" Exclaimed, Paul. "THAT." He says, pointing to the portrait he paused the opening credits for.
"Oh My God. How fun! Yes! I'm totally doing this".
And totally doing it, I did. Around that time I got two commissioned paintings. The Kobe Bryant (see last post) and "Greek Festival", both from the same client. I worked on Paul's birthday portrait for a month, doing little bit here and there. Paul had found an image online of a classic portrait painting of some pointy bearded dude with a beautiful ruffled collar. I threw it into photoshop, put in a photo of Paul's head, made days of adjustments til I was super content, then I painted it on an 8x10" canvas. There was a lot of intricate detail work and I tried to keep it looking authentic to it's time period. We are both quite happy with the results. Found a gorgeous gilded frame on Amazon for $50 and it just really makes everything pop. It feels like a museum piece hanging on our living room wall. So natrurally,I had to create one of myself and Luke.
LUXURIOUS SPIRIT: SOSSI, DANCING
On April 26th, my friend Lar's Mother, Sossi, 66 years old, suddenly passed away. Her mother was such a sweetheart, like Lar, and full of life. Always smiling and engaging. I was and still am so heart broken for Lar and her sister, Tsolair. Almost a month later, just a week away from Lar's birthday (May 28th), Lar's husband, Bjorn, contacted me about a commissioned piece for his wife. There is this beautiful old black and white photo of Sossi dancing at a party in Beirut, Lebanon. The photo captures her spirit and her essence so well. Bjorn told me this is Lar's favorite photo of her mother, and he gave me artistic license to do as I please. Whoa. Artistic license is a big deal for me because I haven't had much experience with being able to express it. I also want to do justice by it. I did my thing that I do on Photoshop. I execute my ideas this way so that I can easily change what I don't like about it. I loved keeping the image looking classic, black and white. Then adding lavender roses around the image. Finally, as is in the actual photo, I added the fine printed detail on Sossi's swanky outfit with a white gel pen.
It took just two days for me to complete this 12x16" watercolor painting, which was 5 days before Lar's birthday. When she received it, custom framed by Bjorn, she texted me a photo and expressed her emotional response in a way that indescribably touches your heart.
Stay tuned for my continuation of this blog post, titled "It's Been A Minute! part 2" where I share with you, "Greek Festival", "Chalk Art", and "Cosette's Tudor Portrait".