Lillian

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

WHAT am I painting? I am painting portraits of Men and women who are not only friends of mine but  that are also part of the LGBT community. Depending on the person, the composition is either a three- quarter view or profile portrait. The portraits are painted in black and white, because I want the focus to be on what they have in common rather than how they are different. The canvases are very textured because it signifies that even though there are imperfections or bumps in the road they are still here.

Lillian

WHAT am I using? The preparations for the painting are just as important as the painting itself.  I take all my own photographs to make sure that my portraits are exactly what I want. My subjects are told to sit down, relax , and think. The result are pictures of people who look like they are thinking of something higher than themselves. Then once I have the photographs, I begin gessoing my canvases. Each canvas must have a significant amount of texture. I feel that the texture not only adds to the meaning of the series, but also creates another interesting feel to the portraits. My choice of mediums  are oil paints on canvas. I am using Ivory black, Lamp black, titanium white, and zinc white. I begin with a detailed freehand underpainting and then block in my darks and lights. It is very important to me for the painting to have a lot of contrast, because I feel that strong contrast evokes a stronger emotion for the viewer. It is also very important to me for the paintings to have a likeness to my subjects because that is a big part of why I am painting them, because they are themselves. 

WHY am I painting them? These are people who are not afraid to be themselves, and people who I look up to, not because they are gay or lesbian but because they are truly and unapologetically themselves. In a time where people are focusing on the differences in one another and fear of those differences I want to focus on what we have in common and  celebrate the people who do not let fear run their lives. So this is why I paint these individuals. The next part of my series will also contain not only LGBT individuals, but also people who are not considered a part of society’s “norm”.