All right. I’m stressed out.
I have challenged myself to do an art project based on feminism regarding the “pieces” of a woman and how they do not fully comprise a woman unless all synced together. Aka, a woman should not just be judged for her body, eyes, career, degree, husband, cooking, whatever. So originally I was going to do this by doing eight small square pen & ink drawings of bits and pieces of the woman’s face, and then using those to frame a larger color portrait inspired by three descriptors of the subject’s choosing.
Then I realized this is all about physical beauty and doesn’t make any sense and totally contradicts my original thoughts.
So now I’m all confused and back to square one. I’ve already started the project with my little sister’s photoshoot, but haven’t gone into the drawing aspect of it yet. I’m just wondering, I guess, how to do a portrait, without it being incredibly shallow.
My best friend showed me the photography of Diego Uchitel, who does portrait work of women. He’s still able to add a sense of movement and emotion and power behind his women. For instance:
At face value (no pun intended) this portrait is well…. a portrait. And I was like, oh, it’s pretty. Unnatural for my artistic self to write this off as “pretty.”
Then my friend (fortunately) introduced me to another side of it. It’s warm. It’s intimate. It’s organic. It’s womb-like in a sense… floating hair, an innocent face, a sense of calm, as if this woman is in utero still. Reintroduced to the portrait in such a way, I garnered a better sense of appreciation for it. How I as an artist have lost the depth to my assumption of a portrait, I don’t know. I think the three years of NOT being an artist (sadly) have worn into my soul.
Do I know what this portrait means? No. And that’s why art is up for interpretation, I guess. Would I be able to recreate a feeling that most could share from a portrait I’ve created? I’m not sure. I guess I’m frightened to try and find out. I don’t ever want to be so shallow as to make a pretty picture. I’ve never made pretty pictures… So we’ll see what happens.
I’ll also need to figure out what emotion or reaction I am attempting to convey. Appreciation? Intimidation? Pity? Love?
If anyone has any thoughts or inspirations, please cast them into the comments box below… I’d appreciate it greatly.