Monday, December 2, 2013

Westward Vision

This is a detail of Westward Vision, an older painting that I posted when I first started blogging.

There has been a natural evolution of style that even I can see when I look at all my paintings together.  When I painted Esther, I was very new to oil painting but very experienced with drawing.  I entered two portraits in the Richeson 75 competition and they were both selected for the show, which was judged by Everett Raymond Kinstler.  I asked him to help me understand how I could grow as a painter; he revealed to me the fact that I was drawing with paint, not painting.  Painting is a way of seeing and thinking that I did not completely understand yet, but he actually helped my mind learn how to think differently.  That's amazing to me.

I am going to have a few older paintings in the Power & Peace show that opens this Friday and there will be two of this model, Esther.  Here is Esther's story, taken from the original post:

One day, I was at the grocery store and I met a vision that took my breath away. Literally. Her name was Esther and she was behind the deli counter. Her mysterious hair was hidden in a paper wrap and her lilting accent mesmerized me. I wanted to paint her immediately but did not have the courage to freak her out by asking, so I asked for some baby Swiss instead. Our paths would serendipitously cross again, giving me another chance.  She would become the subject of more than one painting and a friend for life. In this one, I am depicting her story, which she told me during a long sitting. She said that when she was a preschooler in Nigeria, she told her mother that she would one day go to America. She could not recall how she knew of America, but she looked westward from Africa from her earliest memory. I'm so thankful that she came all the way to Texas. Westward Vision was in the Richeson's first Top 75 Portraits international competition.

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