Every craft show seems to have its own personality. Sometimes I get asked for specific Bible verses or images, other times I get asked about my originals and if certain paintings are available for sale. But this past week I got asked a lot about the people in my paintings.
Some folks wanted to know if I did portraits for people or if I had specific people in mind when I painted.
I suppose I could get cheeky and say that these are all my imaginary friends, but not even that is true.
When I paint, I don’t really think about what these girls will look like. Sometimes I do the face first, and then the rest follows. I get an idea for what this little whimsical person looks like and then create the rest of it from there.
Other times, I paint the entire picture and at the end add the face. It really depends. I decide on the face and hair and expression and clothes as I go, and listen to what each individual work might be saying to me.
This past weekend I got asked if I ever thought about opening a portrait business, and I honestly cannot see myself doing that. I have to paint the way I paint. You know? I enjoy the process of mixed media art and don’t want to be strapped in by the restrictions of other methods. I like that mixed media is about covering and uncovering, making something purposely not look perfect so that an image can emerge that is perfect to whoever is enjoying it.
I think much of art is about what people see and feel. I get asked a lot if these women are my friends I paint are actual friends of mine and I don’t think it’s a coincidence. I’ve found, from years of writing and researching relationships, that people just want to have great relationships. They want to feel seen and heard and cared about.
I get that. I want it, too. So maybe some of that desire is on the canvas and when people feel like these people are real it is because they recognize the need for friends and people who love us.