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Friday, June 20, 2014

It's all about Michelle

Michelle will be happy that she finally has a face in this painting. (From my upcoming show with Stu Chait at RIT-Dyer.)

The other day I wrote about photographer Terry Richardson and allegations that he abused his models. I said, “Artists and their models can be friends; sometimes they're even lovers. But every artist-model relationship also involves an implied balance-of-power calculation.”

I’ve worked with a lot of models over the years, and I think my relationships with them have been professional and courteous. Over the years, several of them have become my friends, including Kate Comegys, Gail Kellogg Hope and Michelle Long.

Michelle as a sort of Madame X character. (From my upcoming show with Stu Chait at RIT-Dyer.)
Michelle is as close to an international model as Rochester has. She collaborated on a project with Keith Howard called “Eve’s Garden: The Lost Creation.” I wish I’d thought of this idea, because it revolved around the idea of printmaker Howard sending his painting work offshore to China. The result was visually pleasing and perfectly in tune with the zeitgeist.

Usually my skin-tones are modulated with grey, but I want the illusion of florescent light, so I'm using blue. Note there is no true red on my palette right now.
I’m finishing a painting of Michelle for my upcoming duo show with Stu Chait at RIT-Dyer. True to form, Michelle won't be there; she is leaving to work in Uganda. If you want to support her at the Ugandan Water Project, go here.

This painting has been sitting unfinished for a long time, because I was mad at it. It taught me the limits of drafting huge paintings in my 18X18 studio. I ended up having to redraft her head and shoulders to correct the severe foreshortening.

Yep, those are my skintones. Along with my modulating colors, they gave me the faces above.
Occasionally someone asks me how to mix skin tones for different races. I think that’s a funny question, because I use exactly the same paints for everyone; only the proportions change. For that matter, I’m using the same paints I use to paint foliage.

I have three openings left for my 2014 workshop in Belfast, ME. Information is available 

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