Face Making

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

Making it up as I go along

2008 . 12 . 31 - Comments / Commentaires (0)

Before leaving on my walkabout at the beginning of December, I made myself another You Bag with my sweetheart’s face on it.

You Bag

photo by Michelle

The bag is another two-sided creation, sort of like this one, except that it’s twice the same face. I wrote about the making of the other side, before I left.

American artist Gwenn Seemel with her partner

photo by Michelle

After spending a few weeks with my grandmother, I met up with David in Manhattan—that’s where we are in these photos, freezing our faces off in the New York cold.

source image for a painting

I was supposed to spend a weekend with David and his family in New Jersey, and then come back to Portland.

process of painting a portrait face on a bag

Things didn’t go quite according to plan.

acrylic on a canvas bag

The biggest snow storm of EVER (I’m going by eyewitness accounts) hit the Northwest last week, and I was stranded out east.

how to paint a portrait

It was a bi-coastal snow day!

the making of a You Bag

And it kept me out of my studio an extra ten days or so.

how to paint a portrait

Between my planned visits and the extended part of my trip, I haven’t touched a paintbrush for a month now.

painted portrait on a canvas tote

While I’m glad to finally be home and vaguely overwhelmed by all the work I have to catch up on, my weather-induced vacation reminded me of how important it is for me to make things up as I go along.

painting of person on a bag

I do that in my work. I think it’s the only way to make a painting: adapting to whatever the composition is doing at a given moment, making marks without knowing if they’ll make sense and then responding to what those marks do to the work.

how to paint a portrait

But I guess I don’t always do that as well in my life—not unless front after front covers my home in snow and forces me to do so!

how to paint a portrait

All of which is to say that, while art-making usually finds its muse in life, the inspiration goes both ways. Life can learn from painting too.

portrait bag

Gwenn Seemel
acrylic on one side of a canvas tote
14 x 14 inches
(detail below)

detail image

- Complete
- The Gitomer bag
- Good dog!

CATEGORIES: - English - Philosophy - Process images - You Bag -

Gwenn Seemel on Liberapay     Gwenn Seemel on Patreon

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