Here we are at the start of a new year! 2020 was… interesting. I won’t try to capture everything that transpired because words just aren’t enough. I have memories from this year that I will treasure and events that I will mourn. I know that is true for so many of you. I will say that once I got past the strange aura of the lockdown that started in March, my work habits started to get a little healthier than before (it took me a couple of months to get there). I have taken more time to do personal work and also started sculpting, baking more bread (something that has been a hobby long before the pandemic, though I have loved seeing so many people give it a try this year) and I even started some coppersmithing in the form of hammering out bowls. That’s for a future post though. 🙂
I found that with some better work habits came better work. Strange! I think I produced some of my best paintings this year and I have a whole slew of work planned that I hope will take my work to the next plateau of my own progress. 2021, here I come!
One of the paintings I was really proud of this year is my painting of Circe, inspired by the book of the same name by Madeline Miller. It’s a wonderful read. I highly recommend it! Here is an Amazon link if you’re interested. If you like Greek myth at all, I think you’ll love this. The audio is excellent too if that’s your jam. Perdita Weeks is the reader and she could read just about anything for my ears.
I think that the painting I did will serve as a bit of a touchstone piece for me, sending my work into a new direction, partly curated by my own tastes, but also in response to the end result of the work.
I was fortunate to win 3rd place in the Portrait Society of America Members Only completion in their Outside the Box category. It was a lovely boost from an organization that I admire and will continue to participate with.
The story, as written by Miller, forms Circe into a strong, tragic female character. Counter to the way many Greek myths tell of women, Circe took control of the events that crossed her path to the degree that she could. The story bears love and loss and magic and intrigue, but in a less futile manner than is typical of myth. It was, for all its sorrow, hopeful and powerful. Kind of how I see this last year.
Here is a time-lapse of the painting process:
It is a preview of a longer 2 hour 20-minute tutorial that I made.
While I can’t foretell the future, I can decide how I will face it! 2021 will undoubtedly have its share of all that life has to offer; beauty, hardship, growth, sorrows, and excitement, and I can’t wait. There might even be more leopards to paint!
A lovely painting, and congratulations on your third place win with the Portrait Society. I’ll have to search out the other winners. One of the things I like about your painting is your color choices–I’d ask you to talk about it, but I presume the full-length video may well contain the answers.
That’s an excellent painting – isn’t this painting also a finalist in the ARC Salon? They’re announcing the winners in a few days. Good luck!
Looking forward to the full video.
Your painting is just terrific. Your article is a wonderful New Year gift to all of us. Thank you very much, Howard. Let your enthusiasm never fade and fill our lives with more and more light. It will inevitably bring you innumerable wins.