Face Making

Artist Gwenn Seemel’s bilingual blog about art, portraiture, free culture, and feminism.

The Gitomer bag

2009 . 05 . 29 - Comments / Commentaires (1)

Last fall, my partner bought himself Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Black Book Connections, and, as is my extremely irritating habit, I had read it before David had even cracked it open. Throughout the book, Jeffrey talks about giving value first. His theory is that business works better when there’s generosity involved. Another theme of the book was that no one is unapproachable. That’s a lesson I learned while still in school, but one that I’d also had disproved an equal number of times.

All in all, I thought it would be fun to call Jeffrey’s bluff—to see if it was in fact a bluff!—so I asked him to sit for me in exchange for the portrait I would create of him.

process of painting a You Bag

As it turned out, Mr. Gitomer is everything he seemed to be…and more! Last March, when he came through Portland for a seminar, I met with him.

process of painting a You Bag

When we did the interview, I noticed that Jeffrey carries a tote. I knew then and there that I’d be painting two portraits of him!

process of painting a You Bag

The You Bag of Jeffrey has ended up acting as a study for the wall-hanging portrait of him that I’m currently working on.

American artist Gwenn Seemel in her studio

photo by David

My portrait totes are, by their nature, looser works. I cannot layer the paint on too thickly or the bags will lose their malleability and, by extension, their functionality. This means that the portraits on bags tend to have a more watercolor feel than my more traditionally displayed pieces.

process of painting a You Bag

In this portrait, I focused on Jeffrey’s eyes. They are striking and I wanted to learn more about them before working on a full-face portrait in the wall-hanging version of Gitomer.

process of painting a You Bag

Jeffrey’s eyes are a hazel-y kind of mix with warm flecks, so I gave them a quinacridone gold layer to start with…

process of painting a You Bag

...which I then covered with a contrasting cool-toned layer.

process of painting a You Bag

The rest of the work on the eyes was simply matter of moderating between those two extremes.

Portland artist Gwenn Seemel

photo by David

One of the challenges with this portrait bag was the tote’s wide bottom. When fully opened and in use, the bag shows below the fold line seen in the above process images, so I had to create the suggestion of Jeffrey’s smile below the crease.

process of painting a You Bag

Anticipating these sorts of things is important when working on a three-dimensional functional item. Because I’ve made relatively few You Bags compared with the rest of my work, I have to concentrate on not overlooking these details. That’s something I like about working on the totes: they get me outside of my comfort zone.

Jeffrey Gitomer's You Bag

Gwenn Seemel
Jeffrey Gitomer
acrylic on canvas bag
14 x 17 x 4 inches

Jeffrey Gitomer painted portrait

detail image of Jeffrey Gitomer

Jeffrey Gitomer's You Bag

the back of Jeffrey’s You Bag

I usually decorate the backs of my You Bags with abstract shapes and patterns, but, in this case, I thought of something better. This is Jeffrey’s company logo.

- Making a living is like making a painting
- On blogging and being a better artist
- The most important person in the world.

CATEGORIES: - English - Process images - You Bag -

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(1) Comments / Commentaires: The Gitomer bag

-- Don The Idea Guy -- 2009 . 05 . 31 --

Very cool!
Custom portraits on tote bags… You Bags are a brilliant idea!

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