2023 is the Year of the Portrait for Kellie
1/100 Faces ~ Teresa Lori Sanders
This portrait is of my First Friend, Lori Sanders, of Lenexa, Kansas. Lori and I have been friends since we were babies in small-town Oklahoma. When I decided to do a 100 Faces Challenge, it seemed only logical that I would start with one of the first faces I ever knew! I met Lori sometime in 1957. We were bambinos. Some of my earliest memories and formative experiences involve Lori. We were separated for years, prior to social media, and reunited in 2006 just as Facebook was coming into being. Now it’s easy for us to stay in touch.
12″ x 12″ Stretched Canvas
There is a thing going around social media called the 100 Head Challenge. This challenge, started by Ahmed Aldoori, challenges artists to draw 10 heads a day for 10 days. Other artists have been doing their own versions of this. And now I am starting my own.
When I first learned of the challenge, it was through following British Portrait Artist Jane French on Instagram. Jane took the challenge into color, and did her series of 100 portraits with oil paint over the course of 6 months.
I’m calling my challenge the 100 Faces Challenge. I don’t know how long it will take for me to complete the challenge, but it has already been more than 10 days, and will likely be longer than 6 months. I’ll work on this when I’m not working on commissions and other paying projects.
This is the second of my 100 Faces. It is a painting of my niece, Amber Manuel, and her cat. The blueness is due to screen light. Her face is lit from different directions.
2/100 Faces ~ Amber Joelle Sisson Manuel
12″ x 12″ Stretched Canvas
I took a class by Jane French online through Domestika because I love her brushwork and the loose way she represents the planes of the face in value and color. I also particularly love how she chooses her reference photos, not for their perfection so much as for how interesting they are. Jane works on stretched canvas or canvas panels, and her challenge portraits were 8″ x 8″ squares.
Woman on Yellow-Orange by Ray Turner.
Turner answered the question of which of his head paintings are his favorite by starting with this one. Around the same time I discovered Jane French, I discovered Ray Turner’s series called Population. I found a book of his works, which apparently is hard to find, so I got lucky. The book is just one delicious photo after another of his thick, delectable brushwork. I have had the book for probably a year, and I still spend time examining its pages, looking at the thick paint marks. Turner paints faces on sheets of 12×12 glass in thick impasto. His paintings are delicious and rich and I hope I have a chance to see some of them in real life one day.
For Christmas 2022 my husband gave me a year-long group mentorship with Rosso Crimson, which starts next week, and I can’t wait. She will meet with our class monthly, providing instruction, critique, and guidance. Rosso’s paintings are figure paintings of women with glorious abstract backgrounds and settings. Rosso works on gesso’d boards and allows the coarse surface to inform the textures of her work.
I’m really curious to see where this in depth study of portraits and faces will lead.
Onward and Upward!