The series is called 'Women of Colour' and I'm aiming to complete all 12 portraits before the end of 2017. The series will include women who are physically 'of colour' as well as women whose character and style is boisterously colourful. All of my subjects will be Australian. It's somewhat of a personal project that I will have to work on in between commissions and teaching workshops, but I want to give back in the biggest way I have to date. The original works will be sold at a culminating exhibition and a % of all sales will go to a charity or organisation nominated by each of the 12 subjects. While I would like these charities to benefit women in some way, I'm open to learning of new charities and organisations as I make new connections with each of my chosen subjects. Because I'm making everyone wait a whole year to have the chance to purchase an original, I will be getting limited edition prints made of each work as I complete them. These will be available for purchase and some of the proceeds of these will also go to the nominated charities and organisations. I myself don't even know who the 12 will actually be, as I'm finding myself drawn to different individuals as they cross my mind (and/or virtual path). I will admit that I am very excited about the few women I have already locked in sittings with :) You'll have to check in to see who they are.
The motivation to get this complete is ever present and there will be a lot of 'hustle' required to keep coming back to the studio, but the inspiration that's out there is endless and I really feel like my art can benefit others as much as it benefits me. Doing more of what I love and feeling good about myself is a gift I'm actively giving to myself this year. Life is too short to not put your energy into the things that make you most happy and fulfilled.
To celebrate, here's the first cab off the rank for the "Women of Colour' series.
BELOW are some progress updates for this work and what was going through my head at each stage and the original photograph is revealed at the end along with my feelings about it:
This is the first piece of a new series I've been planning to start painting for more months than I'd like to admit. The image I'm painting is from a photograph taken by Amanda Fordyce for one of my FAVE Australian fashion labels Mister Zimi ✨
I'm aiming for 12 portraits in total and I'll be including women I know and admire as well as the creations of local designers that inspire me. You can expect a celebration of nature, connection and COLOUR!
"Zoning out as I get back into this portrait (original image taken by @amandafordycephoto ) It's 'Detail' time!
Can't put it off any longer. The beautiful fabric of this @misterzimi creation features fine white lines which form hibiscus flowers. I've merely blocked the colours in, so though it might look close to complete, I'd honestly say I'm just about 50% in. The jewellery is gold and reflective with chunks of 'veiny' turquoise stones. The arm cuff looks like woven straps of gold, which should also provide a sufficient challenge. The earrings are fluffy tassels of very fine thread and those 🍌and 🌿are still coming together. The compilation of colours and textures has me hooked.
I normally stay away from trying to paint too realistically, but I'm finding this to be less difficult because it was always my impatience to rush through something that made details seem infuriating. I'm sitting with the discomfort of not rushing to a finish point and not painting as fast as I normally do. I really want to do this more often, because I need to challenge myself to avoid getting lazy. It's going to take a fair bit more discipline, but at the same time I think it's going to hep me see my work in a new light and hopefully force me to slow down more often. It will be finished, when it is finished - the first of 12 portraits for my #WomenOfColourSeries
Stay tuned for more 🌴"
Here's the first completed painting for my #WomenOfColourSeries and my last painting for 2016. This portrait is painted from a photograph taken by @amandafordycephoto for a past @misterzimi campaign shoot. I LOVE Mister Zimi's designs, they are bold, colourful and patterned - much like my artwork. I was stoked when they gave me their blessing to paint this piece. MZ design clothing for the woman who isn't afraid to stand out and they lead me to fall in love with Amanda's photography as well. Her style is also bold, colourful and proudly unique...intuitively so. You can now purchase prints of Amanda's work at @amandafordyceprints and some of the profits of sales go towards funds for Headspace.
This series of portraits will celebrate my admiration for local Australian women of substance, bold style and women who raise others up - and basically women who greatly inspire me!
Thanks for all of the Insta LOVE this year, I appreciate every ounce of support I get from this fab platform.
Stay safe this weekend and I hope you all have an amazing start to 2017 ✨"
The lovely model is is Stephanie Cherry and I just fell in love with this enire image when I first spotted it. The colours, pattern and entire composition got my attention immediately. There is so much joy and strength in Stephanie's expression and I love the juxtiposition of luxe and glamour with a manual action. This image also makes me think of connection to place. Her clothes, complexion and expression reflect the colours and beauty of her surroundings. I personally feel connected to place and not just one. You can read this image in many ways, and see where the inspiration for the design and vibe of the garments comes from.
Surrounding yourself in nature is a little reminder of what it feels like to be on holidays, and to just relax and be happy in yourself. Maybe it's becuase we are taking a break from the facade we feel we need to uphold in our everyday contexts. Maybe we just have less stress. Imagine if we could hang onto those holiday feelings forever! OK so we might not get much done BUT we could certainly walk around with a greater sense of self. In the mean time, we have amazing designers like Mister Zimi to help us retain those colourful holiday vibes and reminders of nature with their joyful and unique pieces. I certainly feel happier when I'm wearing these bright colours. Colours really are that powerful!
I hope we all find our courage to proudly wear our colours this year. Without hesitation or fear of standing out.
Stay tuned for prints of this work.