Ivy by Andrew Thornton
Acrylic painting by Andrew Thornton on wood.
6" x 8"
I generally make things in "seasons". I can't always do this depending on my existing commitments, but this is the way that I work best and I have learned over the years to just hitch my wagon to the energy and see where it takes me instead of trying to fight it or direct it too much. I have different stations setup and I flit around like a pollinator and move to the project that most captures my heart and imagination at the moment.
Right now it's all about the paintings!
I've always really loved portraiture. Whether they're real or imaginary people, I enjoy looking for the humanity captured in the brushstrokes. I feel like there's a certain level of magic in distilling a person's energy out of paint and pigment. It's an illusion and I think the best illusions are ones that tell a story. I have a soft spot for the Pre-Raphaelites and Botticelli. I like Frida Kahlo and Jan van Eyck. I like the heavy-lidded ladies and soft cubism of Tamara de Lempicka. I like contemporary artists like Kehinde Wiley, Elizabeth Peyton, and Chuck Close too... just to name a few.
I've wanted to do a series of portraits for awhile now. I made a few for the Strange Botany show, which was fun, but I felt like they had to be more... well... strange. But I wanted to make a series of just people. Sometimes there's a subtle hint of something or another extra, but for the most part, I just wanted to paint a person and let that be enough.
This one is called, "Ivy". She looks like an Ivy to me. I referenced different photos and paintings while I worked, but this isn't based off of anyone in particular or any one person.
I had this idea that I'd make an entire series of these types of portraits and have a big show of them, but I don't think that's in the cards right now. Maybe one day.