The ongoing challenges of zoom classes are always more evident in studio art classes, as we experience critiques and conversation through a small video screen. This requires us to take our eyes from the work we are painting and look at the face glaring at us through Zoom. We are forced to re-adjust our perceptions and how we observe each other for portraits. The staring becomes less uncomfortable through the barrier of the internet. The downsize of the staccato dialogues of zoom calls is that we sometimes get sound bite comments that don’t entirely register right away.
One such comment was delivered to me regarding the last self-portrait (Number 15). The comment suggested that the background I painted was more exciting than the face itself. I agreed immediately. The commenter put voice to what I couldn’t about that painting. Then they threw the challenge of inverting my efforts and putting the extra textures on the face. That is where this one started its journey.
Only, I didn’t feel I could get it with a straightforward self-portrait. I’m always staring directly ahead. I needed to get some profile in it. I tried several mirror shot, filtering through old pictures and corrupting angles in them, then I thought how about the face being the sidelong glimpse I make when checking myself in the mirror. Following a little procrastination masked as research on hundreds of portraits by others, I found this pose that felt right. Especially since being chained to Zoom has me more often hunched over my laptop in stead of my easels.
Stay tuned for the progress steps…