I've been so enjoying oils again lately. I almost stopped doing them eight years ago when I fell in love with prints. I seem to do things in spurts, focusing in for a while, and now I seem to be back to oils again. They're much faster than the intricate prints I had been doing, so it's fun to be able to push out a whole series of the images bouncing around in my brain in (comparatively) short order. The bigger ones, the full self portraits I've been doing, take longer, but these small ones (they're all in the 8" range) go pretty quickly. I come back and work more the second day once they've dried and I've thought about them a while, but SO much faster than prints. And since I have a show looming for March and a bunch of images that built up in my head through the Christmas show season, when I really couldn't tend to them, it's lovely to have a faster medium speaking to me at the moment.
These top two are from years past in Paris. I've pulled out my sketch journals to find see what images might be a good fit with my upcoming self portrait show. I've sketched my feet in various spots that are important to me for years. Having my feet on much loved ground is key to me as a landscape painter, and I both experience and celebrate meaningful things in my life by drawing them. So I drew myself in Paris.
Another meaningful part of my life is Mr. Darcy. And music. So here are two small self portraits that combine those two loves. I spend many evenings with Mr. Darcy and my banjo. I'm trying to push the envelope on what "self portrait" entails for the show, so I'll have some nice variety. I also think it will lend a full picture of my life.
The Hotel piece is finished. All of these others are in various stages of putting a bunch of color down (early) and tweaking (afterwards). I'm still monkeying around a bit with the other three.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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