New Portrait, New Everything
Yesterday I watched a documentary about portrait painter Alice Neel, beautifully filmed by her grandson Andrew Neel. The moment I looked at the DVD cover, lent to me by my sister-in-law Jana, I felt a connection with her work: as if I’d done it, or I could do it, or I do it in my head all the time. It’s very hard to explain. Then, when I saw footage of Alice painting on the screen, my heart started pacing and I felt the excitement she felt. I have painted portraits before, but rarely from life and more rarely so with oils. I was immediately inspired, went out and bought a new set of everything, called up my muse and started this painting. As most of you would know, I paint almost exclusively with acrylics, which dry in an instant. I had to keep reminding myself that the paint was still wet: ‘it’s oil, it’s oil!’ So I worked for over an hour and then had to stop. I plan to start other portraits and work on them simultaneously. I feel like a beginner and in a way I am. I’m very excited.