Friday, November 2, 2012

Portrait Painting, Baby Steps and Conga LInes



Baby steps can sometimes seem like a penance that we have to pay, a necessary discipline in getting from A to B.  Yes, forward progress but slow going with these little tiny steps.  It seems to take forever to get where we are going.  Where's the leaps and bounds?

So what if we shake this concept?  What if we re-frame baby steps as dance steps in life's conga line?  A place where we can shake and move our bodies to the beat of the music, dance all night and have fun following the line and where it leads.

Conga lines are fun.  They are fueled with joy and music and yes, little steps in rhythm to the beat.  There are whoops and hollers, bodies swaying and lots of color and awesome music.
What if we view baby steps in this way rather than as... well, baby steps. 

I haven't done a portrait for a while and was wanting to give it a try with my new painting technique.  Here's the first run at it.  For some reason when it comes to faces I have trouble with adding drama.  I get all worried and fearful of dark darks and light lights.  I stall and always back pedal to some medium ground.  Yet, I so admire the high drama portraits like those of Jeff Schaller

I don't know what I am looking for in this regard to make it more like hot chili peppers rather than plain white rice.  But, I'm taking another run at this same girl and am currently working on another version of this portrait- which I am trying really hard to be brave and add drama.  She's not ready to show yet but I feel I am making progress toward some unknown goal of - "the perfect style".  baby steps in the right direction - or perhaps fun hip hop, conga steps that lead to some big drama, changes, and abandon to the wind and courage in creativity.  Hmmmmm.. do you hear the music?  do you sense a hand reaching out for you join in?  I do.  I'm up and I'm in the conga line dancing my baby steps and having fun as I follow where ever this line leads me.

Thoughts and prayers for those that have been affected by Sandy. 
 

31 comments:

  1. Marji, to me this portrait has mucho drama! Her face is expressive, you have shadows and highlights, the colors are gorgeous. but i will have to take a look at the link you suggested to see what this Jeff Schaller has done.

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  2. Fabulous portrait! I can't add even this much drama to my faces so don't be too hard on yourself. :)

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  3. Portrait is excellent and love the 'mirrors of a sort' in the background ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

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  4. Go drama! You can do it! What's the worst that can happen? You don't like it and start over. This portrait is fantastic! She has such great eye contact beyond the frame, it gives her life. Happy PPF - I'm back!!

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  5. Gorgeous portrait!
    I love the eyes, the colors in the neck, and I want her hair-style!!
    Well done! :)
    ♥♥♥
    Happy PPF!!
    Mary
    Mixed-Media Map Art

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  6. Your painting is very good! I like how you talk about steps in terms of dance. My stlye and pace is fast...like a pirouette.
    I look forward to seeing more of your lovely work!
    xx

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  7. It does have drama, the expression is so severe and intense! Great work and great post, I definitely want to be in a conga line but sometimes I want to take huge ballet leaps or do break dance! Loved Jeff Schaller's work!

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  8. This is fabulous Marji. Those lights and darks are scary even for a watercolourist but we must keep telling ourselves that it's the lights and darks that make paintings sing most of the time. I do actually think yours is singing in all the right places btw. Take care. x

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  9. This is wonderful, very intense, especially the eyes. I really like your thoughts on baby steps vs. dance steps, dance steps seem so more fun!

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  10. For me your portrait has a lot of drama in it. With the key in the background and here severe look makes me think of a prison governor, or what my idea of a prison governor would be. Happy PPF, Annette x

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  11. Baby steps are good but I don't think you need them - this is such a striking portrait already! You are too hard on yourself :)

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  12. so talented you are, baby steps,,,, you are leaps and bounds of talent you are!!!

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  13. I think it is wonderful and I do agree with baby steps- they are the only way to get ahead. Happy PPF to you this week.

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  14. Wonderful painting, great portrait.

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  15. This is sooooo not whte rice, i love the green around her neck and the key above. I have also been checking out posts i missed and signed up for the writing challenge and the meditation. Thanks for the info!

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  16. Love this post because I actually spent time at the beginning of my studio day choosing just the right music to suit the work I am doing... I find it such an integral part of actually getting started.... and I draw multiples of the same subject a lot... I find that it helps me enormously... xx

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  17. All I can say is wow! Really gorgeous painting - I love the intensity of the face and the shadows

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  18. A fabulous portrait- love the hints of color in her shading! Conga line- great way to see life!

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  19. Your portrait is stunning... I adore her... and just love your concept of dance steps in life's conga line... how perfect...

    Jenny ♥

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  20. Lovely post, and very true. Have to remember that when I get frustrated. I think you already achieved a lot of drama in this painting.

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  21. Marji you may not realize this but all your work is very spiritual! Maybe you are deeper than the superficial beauty. She's not plain white rice, she is character, and dimension in a realistic way! She has power in her knowing, and a story to share. She's not trying to sell something, rather she is trying to teach something!! I look at her and my eyes tear up!! Your work is amazing!! Dance and move on to the next chapter...she is already her perfect self!!

    Hugs Giggles

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  22. The lady in your portrait has a very frank, intense gaze. I don't think she would take any bull&#&% from anyone. I don't see her as "white rice" at all. and I love your outlook that baby steps are dance steps in life's conga line. I'm going to put that in my pocket for a low self esteem day!

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  23. I am with you on thinking baby steps are way too slow. I like the idea of looking at them as dance steps instead.

    I think your portrait has plenty of drama, especially around the bangs. I have had that same haircut, and that same expression more times than I care to remember.

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  24. When I opened this post...your portrait took my breath away. It's striking...and dramatic...and beautiful. I can't WAIT to see what the next one looks like. Oh...and i LOVE your perspective on baby steps. Shake it! Jump! Wiggle!

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  25. She looks gorgeous and determined to reach out to her dreams!

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  26. I do like your portrait! and I can find some drama in it..
    I too would like how to make light and dark in a dramatic way.. I have to follow you up.. looking forward what you're working on now.. :)

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  27. Lovely job. Love the texture. I think you got drama here. :) HPPF

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  28. oh there is lots of fabulous dram in this portrait Marji!! Love your idea of a conga line-so much more fun. I'm just catching up as we were w/o power for 5 days because of Sandy.Happy PPF!

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  29. I love your portrait. Nice technique and great result.

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