Pastel portrait of a young woman.

Sam

pastel portrait of a trans gender person

No. 75, 100 Portraits in 100 Days

I like this one because it’s on mat board with pumice ground applied with a brush and you can see the lines and whorls of the brush strokes behind the color. I like it because it’s Sam just on the cusp of deciding whether or not to be pissed off or scared.

Sam is my middle child.

Sam is a writer. She likes to make up fantasy and science fiction stories. She’s also a pretty good dungeon mistress, or so I’m told. I tried to play D & D with Sam once but I couldn’t get into it. Probably I’m just not a very good team player. The other reason has to do with me hating to fail at anything. It’s another sort of failing, which is hilarious on the one hand, and kinda sad on the other.

One of the things that happens when you create stuff is that you fail. A lot. But sometimes you end up with something quite wonderful. I think of it as a type of conditioning. You know how you teach lab rats to push a green button by giving them a treat every so often? I can’t remember what it’s called, but it’s what keeps me painting. I never know when I start what I’m going to end up with. I’m hoping for a treat, but lots of times it’s just not what I wanted.

I’ve read of methods where you visualize what you want before you start, but this isn’t how I work. I like to feel my way as I go. I have some methods that I use, sure, but I’m still learning this as I go, so they’re not foolproof. I can spend way too much time on a portrait and end up with nothing very good.

So today I’m pretty happy, because this happened. I’m glad I decided (again) to paint.

 

 

 

 

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