11.  After Picasso's "Retrat de Jacqueline" (1957)

11. After Picasso's "Retrat de Jacqueline" (1957)

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Part of a painter's education, back in the day, was to go to museums (with easels, oils, brushes, varnish — can you imagine?) and copy the paintings.

I’ve seen university art students doing this, with sketchbooks and pens. A less complicated and intrusive set up.

Of all the pieces I saw in Barcelona’s Picasso Museum, this one stood out. So I bought the postcard. Art museum gift shops are pretty much my go-to place when traveling — for books and postcards you don’t see anywhere else. I use postcards for journaling about my trip more than for their intended purpose.

It was delightful to play with my own copy of this piece. I got to see so much more by looking carefully. Moving more towards abstraction, and raw expression is what thrills me most in painting. 

After doing just 9 portraits in this series, I was getting bored. Number 10 was a breakthrough. More my style. But I wouldn’t have known that until I did the first 9. 

I added some collage to this piece, which is how I normally work. It didn’t feel complete until I did the collage step. It was like I was physically compelled to glue something down. 

These small, original portraits are painted on top pages cut and upcycled from my sketchbooks.

This portrait is from the series, 100 Portraits in 100 Days: A Quarantine Diary. 

What began as a creative challenge to focus my energies during the first weeks of solo quarantine in March 2020, evolved into a diary of my experience. 

I decided that painting one portrait a day for 100 days would be my solo quarantine project. 

Of course, not at all anticipating that quarantine would actually last that long. Surely I was overestimating?