Wednesday, January 14, 2009


oil on linen

Still in the "cute" phase, somewhat. Back in the day, I thought I wanted to create dolls. I subsequently realized it was just a desire to sculpt. That whole make the clothes, shoes and hair thing was way beyond my interest level. I was purely interested in facial features. Anyway, back in the day, we also had a lot of disposable income and I disposed quite a lot collecting dolls which now sit cold in storage boxes in the garage. Digressing again.

This little girl, lost in sleep, sits on a toy chair resting on a pedestal in the living room. She's one of my favorites because himself surprised me one birthday with her. She's quite lovely and so well made. I have spent many a hour wondering what she's dreaming, if her eyes are brown and if she'd like a snack when she wakes up. The face is badly painted. She's much cuter. I went a bit overboard on her lips. They're not nearly as big. I'm going to try this one again after I digest the Hein DVD which is discussed below.

I was granted a well needed kick in my artistic ass last night when the hubs and I sat down to digest a DVD by inspiring, uber-gifted artist Jeffrey Hein. Oh my! Not only is his demonstration of painting a portrait completely mind-blowing, but during the session, there is a voice-over in which a student of his questions his process! A nugget of wisdom a minute from a really cool human. I was thrilled to hear that he's nervous whenever he steps in front of a blank canvas. I also realized that I'm still holding back. I still gloss over areas, don't pay attention to shadow temperatures, shapes, and all manner of important details. I know I've got skills but I get so lazy sometimes. Perhaps that's the reason. The "good" voice tells me it's not laziness, but fear. If it were laziness, the voice counsels, I'd be watching TV, not painting.

Then fear of what? What if I take my time, do it all correctly and it comes out perfectly dreadful? Or perfectly perfect? I fear joy. I fear disappointment. Yet somehow disappointment and defeat feel safer. Lots to think about.

This Jeff Hein DVD is one of the best I've ever seen. I plan to spend a lot of hours with this man. I want to feel the elation of success. I'll deal with the guilt and fear later.


  1. Hi Suzanne,
    Nicely said, but still a beautiful portrait. Have a nice day.

  2. I think the doll portrait is great. I couldn't tell if it was a girl or a doll. Either way the expression and rendering is very nice. Initially being disappointed with a painting is natural. I think we start with an ideal about our painting. After it's done and we forget about that ideal the painting usually looks better. That's my experience.

  3. I also thought she was a lovely young girl. After reading about the DVD, I Googled Jeff Hein & one is on the way. Thank you for sharing a resource. Beckie


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