Portrait Studies

Dinner party at President Street

My best friend Amy and I used to live in Park Slope, on President Street. We've become really good friends with the two ladies who've taken over our old apartment, so it feels like the place has stayed "in the family." The four of us try to meet up periodically and have dinner over at The Hearth on President to catch up. 

The menu this time was tacos, and they were amazing, but I was on a big time cleanse so I held back for the most part (womp, womp). Nicole, Leni and Amy have been incredibly supportive since my divorce and my move back to Brooklyn after LA and Houston-- and there's been nothing but total awesomeness re: this cleanse I'm on, which is actually pretty simple: no drinking (because I was drinking heavily ALL the time, whenever I was alone and bored, too) and no eating anything but protein and vegetables. Turns out you feel better when you're not drinking like a fish and eating like a pig. 

I took about an hour to do a quick sketch of the three of them at the dinner table while they were drinking the fun juice and eating the tacos: 

Incidentally, I was getting a lot of flack about my weight for a while from my dad. (He's not a bad dude- it's just a cultural thing. Ahhh, Korea.) Over the past year, I gained about...wait for it...20 pounds! CRAZY! I'm 5'2", so anything more than two pounds is quite noticeable on my small frame. I think I was loving drinking like a fish and eating like a pig, but also I am on a VERY high dosage of Abilify, an anti-psychotic notorious for causing weight-gain. It's also notorious for being awesome for bipolar people, so you just go with the flow sometimes. Anyway, the cleanse helped. Here's a picture of me from that night at The Hearth, where I'm striking distance of striking distance of my normal weight: 

You gotta read this email exchange I had with my brother and my dad which ensued after I sent them the picture:  

I guess I have cheekbones again and I look skiny. 

Mario

As one can see, I have been really lax about posting to this blog in the past, oh, year, and I know my traffic has really fallen, but I'm going to try to remedy that, so with the new year, I'm re-dedicating myself to posting more here and on facebook, etc. I've been working on a portrait series since last summer.  If you can believe it, I was planning on finishing this series in the fall, but life happens, and models get busy, and I'm only halfway through now (I've got 9 paintings going at the moment, and I'm almost finished with the fourth one).

Here's my painting of Mario that I'm working on.  I've been sick for the past couple of weeks, so I haven't been working much, but I'll post what I have so far.

I met Mario at MICA where I teach.  He is a recent graduate of the school, where he majored in sculptural forms, and his senior thesis exhibition was an amazing array of flutes that he crafted out of clay and other materials. I just fell in love with his spirit as he showed me and my friend his instruments which all played and sounded as striking and mysterious as they looked.  Mario posed for me over the course of a few days while he was back in Baltimore, even coming one day during Hurricane Sandy! Here's a quick close-up:

Hopefully I'll start feeling better really soon and can finish this portrait up before the new semester starts in a week or two!