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Posing for Artist Angela Cunningham

When I first moved to Western North Carolina I was studying full-time and didn’t have time for a regular job. To earn some extra spending cash, I posed regularly for local artists and drawing groups. I haven’t had the time to do it much lately.

Having a full-time job makes it difficult to be on call, but lately I have been sitting for artist and my former instructor, Angela Cunningham

It’s a slow process but an amazing one to see come together. Every step is important in order to create a successful end product, which is in this case, a large format all graphite drawing, and perhaps also an oil painting. She’s done a few color studies as well, one of which is shown below.

As a figure model, I never have much expectation or investment in the work completed based on my posing. I know it’s not actually about me. It doesn’t hurt my feelings if the likeness isn’t there, or if it’s not particularly flattering, but sitting for Angela has been a unique pleasure because of her skill. It’s one of the few times I’ve allowed myself some satisfaction and expectation for the final piece. I really can’t wait to see how it turns out and feel honored to be a part of her body of work.

The above is one of my favorite pieces of her work. It is titled Silence. I love this painting not just because it’s beautiful, or that I’m partial to skulls, but also because the moth in the lower right hand corner is a polyphemus moth I found fluttering while it died on a hot night the first summer I had moved here. It reminds me of how exciting that time was and how beautiful, for both good and bad reasons, my experience here has been.

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Open House Aftermath Awesomeness

Thank you to everyone who came out and made tonight a success. It was an incredible evening for me and I am so grateful to receive so much support. I hope to prove that I’m worth helping, believing in and something as simple as collecting!

If anyone missed out and wants to see what I have remaining, please feel free to contact me about it and come on by. I have beads and some paintings and drawings remaining, but otherwise last night was a huge success for me!

Below are pictures of how I set up my apartment for the open house and also some of my newest paintings and studies.

I feel pretty much slaughtered right now, but in the best possible way. There were a lot of unfamiliar faces last night, and it’s always great to put my work in front of new people, but it was also really amazing to see so many of my friends show up to simply tell me they believed in me. I understand that my motivation has to mainly come from myself, but it sure doesn’t hurt to be propped up and affirmed from the outside as well.

And just from a financial point of view, my path has become much more affordable after last night.

Thank you for your support, smiles, kindness and dollars!

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Defuzzing – More Process

When I say ‘defuzzing’ I mean it in two different ways.

1 – My paintings are covered in fuzz, literally. It’s a cursed combination of dust from my ancient crumbling apartment and cat hair…provided by my herd of three cats I can’t keep out of my working area. I took my paintings outside on the porch today and was pretty horrified by their surfaces. The rougher the surface I paint on the more debris my paintings tend to collect, which makes sense. I wish I preferred painting on board or smooth linen but I don’t. I like a rougher weave for my paint to grip on, and apparently grit prefers the rougher weave as well. I hope that taking a clean brush to the surface once they are dry will dislodge some of the fuzz, and that a retouch varnish will unify the surface. I also need to start facing my wet paintings towards the wall as they dry. That will probably keep some trash from landing on the sticky surface.

2 – Many of these paintings are almost complete. I now am bringing them into focus, trying hard to only add necessary information. It’s hard for me to find that sweet spot between very lose and over rendered.

The bottom paintings are my first attempt to paint someone with tattoos! I also tried painting over a red washed background for the first time. I like it. I think.