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You Bag

Gwenn Seemel
Megh
2007
acrylic on canvas bag
13 x 13 inches

The subject of this portrait shares my fascination for Egon Schiele’s gouache paintings. There is something about the work of this early twentieth century artist from Austria that is at once watery and defined, grotesque and sublime. It’s a something that I am reminded of when working on my portrait bags. Because the object must be functional when it leaves my studio, my process for applying paint must be different from my usual wall-hanging painting process. I must avoid layering the paint too thickly on the barely primed canvas of the bag in order to keep the bag’s canvas flexible. And it’s this restriction on heavy layering that give my You Bags a more gouache or watercolor feel than my other paintings.

Megh is one of my dearest friends from college and someone I tend to paint a lot.