I’ve been drawing and painting like mad, keeping my promise of creating one oil pastel per day. But I haven’t kept my goal of posting here weekly. To celebrate George Washington’s birthday, actually, thanks to the fact that today is a holiday, I’ve taken the time to finish some of the pieces that needed completion, and then photographed four weeks worth of drawings, to post them here. Days, 21-24, I immersed myself into my hands, before I landed on my feet (25-26).
After this attempt to do a Self-portrait after Goya’s self-portrait, I revisited hands for days 28, 30 and 31, with a couple of close-up portraits in between.
The oranges are from our tree, the tangerines from the grocery store. I tried to capture the latter as shiny objects compared to the unwaxed dull homegrown organic oranges. Ironically, the dull fruit tastes better.
The egg shell and the feather are a present from our chickens. What came first? I think the egg. I emptied it and saved the shell because it was bluish-greenish, as opposed to every other egg our hens lay, which are brown. After the egg, salt shakers were an obvious choice, although one of them had an accident.
El Mundo sent me on assignment to cover the Robert Redford event at the Santa Barbara Film International Film Festival. The two-hour wait at the red carpet is usually not fun, especially because it tends to be cold and there are way too many photographers shoving for a place by the fence to photograph the movie star of the day. It was rather warm that night, and not as crowded, as the organizers limited the number of press to each gala event. And I had a lot of fun, since I brought my oil pastels. Santa Barbara Independent intern photographer Peter Vandenbelt took my photo for his film festival coverage. My photos have graced the Independent on several occasions, but only once before was a photo of me, taken by magnificent photographer Paul Wellman, published there… while I was eating a plastic bag.
Lissa brought me as her guest to “Sebastian’s 31st Birthday Party (Again)”. I dressed up in a top hat, bow tie and tails, and brought my camera and oil pastels. I have to admit that the photos I took in the dark came out better than the drawing I did in the dark.
For number 40, I discovered Quique, who graciously modeled for me, not only for this occasion, but also for 42, 43 and 44.
One of the treasures of Santa Barbara is UCSB Arts & Lectures. Since I’ve donated many of my photos for this organization, they provided me with a pair of tickets for a performance of Taj Mahal, Corey Harris and Guy Davis, who play together as True Blues. I painted Guy Davis, in the dark. He was perfectly lit, but my pad of Strathmore Bristol paper was pitch black; it was a fun experience. And the music was marvelous. Mr. Davis signed the drawing after the show.
If you follow my daily posts in Instagram, you probably saw another version of the drawing above, where Quique is laying down with his head bent forward. It didn’t quite work, so I completely redid it this morning.
I guess my art history classes at SBCC are paying off. This portrait has some unintentional influence from Rennaissance French painter Jean Fouquet, who painted an amazingly modern Madonna and child back in 1450.
And then came the dogs, in many shapes and colors. I was asked if I painted dogs, and I do, as it can be seen in my animal gallery, but the question gave me a reason to paint some more canines. Now everybody wants me to paint their dog. Although I prefer to paint from live animals, these are painted from photos I’ve taken. I have to admit it’s been fun to paint from photographs. And necessary, as some of these dogs aren’t even alive today, but the paintings have made their owners very happy.
Bonus drawings, number 17, from week three, with larger hand, and number 20, with major changes:
Please comment below. Every word you write serves as encouragement for me not to give up. Also, I invite you to follow me on Instagram to see daily progress photos of the paintings. Instagram keeps me honest to really create daily. And the photos turn out to be pretty fun.by