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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Starting portraits for closure

There are so many other things I should be doing instead of these ten difficult paintings! The list is long, and yet I wake in the night with an urgent need to capture Dylan's cheekbone, Adena's twinkle, and Leo's ambiguous future.
a gentle soul
For four years I have advised, coached and gotten to know my special set of 10 advisees. I've seen them grow from gangly, hyperactive or nervous and withdrawn ninth graders to the self confident and often self-less seniors they are today. They will be done with school in about 6 more days. Each one is very different, very special, and totally in my heart. It is so sad and yet so very exciting to see them move on and graduate.
an activist for social dignity
As I start coming to terms with saying good bye- I am designing their portraits in acrylic...not for them, but for me. At first I thought I'd give them the portraits as a gift, and then... it was a double whammy- "why say good bye and give the pictures away as well?" Besides, no one (in my experience as both painter and model) actually likes their portraits at first. We see ourselves much differently than the artist. So... these are for me. Maybe I will send them to them in five years.

brilliant francophile and poet
I really do not have time for this. I need to raise money to pay off my residency fees at the Vermont Studio center, first and foremost (the bill must be paid in full in 3 weeks!)
But... I know when you have the feeling you must paint something- it can't be ignored. It haunts you. You see it everywhere: in front of your eyes when you are awake and in your dreams when you sleep. To ignore the desire makes me ornery with everyone and mean with my calendar.
I have no choice... but to do this and hope it turns out the right thing to do.

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