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CharVoz - Emotional portraits, mind maps, new/old ideas

Hi there! Emotional Portraits or Mind Portraits, have been a focus in 2021. I really love these pieces, everything about them. I love making them, the process of first dripping or sweeping colorful inks across the yupo paper, watching them shift, and free transform of material. I love looking at them later and making color choices, defining lines, giving just enough of the facial features definition to know it is there without fully defining them. As I work I think about the shifting mindsets, past, present, and future, all colliding into the present line work.

I start with large brushes, drips and splatters, then work with smaller and smaller tools. I love the feel of a brush, a bamboo stylus, paint markers and then fine tip tools. I love walking through the organic shapes already created and continuing to define them to exact moments. Some of these have looser ink wash with simple crisp lines, and some get very layered.

I also started working with metallic on some, adding fine gold lines, silver, in the newest ones I added chrome. Seeing the light shift off the surface is exciting, and complex as the piece changes with lighting and perspective. It's a perfect metaphor really. We are all changing, shifting, adapting, thousands of times a day as we make decisions from simple things like which coffee vessel to use in the morning, machine made mug, hand made mug, antique, heirloom, espresso cup? Our minds and bodies are also vessels deciding what information to take in and process and what to let go of until another time, and how much stress or decision making, or outward facing are we ready for in the given moment.

Adding the metallic medium to the surface adds the deeper meaning to the finished pieces of the environment around the piece, full sun, cloudy sky, dark hallway or ultra spot lights change the view, which is animated by the walking or moving motion of the viewer. So there, in all of those states we have these complex thought processes of states of being, mindful, anxious or somewhere in between.

After making a series of these in 2021, I also have to realize that this idea and way of working is not new to me. The start to finish in a series together has taken on another level of sophistication. I am reminded of a drawing class, one of those 6 hour a day drawing classes in art school, where these seed pods of concepts were perhaps becoming real, or real to go on the back burner of the brain.

It has percolated over time. The drawing class was while I was at Parsons 2nd year in the Fine Art program, 2001-2002. (The professor is actually a quite acclaimed artist and author and I am sure I drove that teacher nuts when I was a student with my apathy, confusion, and split interests at the time.) Back to the drawing class, homework was to complete 10 ink wash self portraits within a week 11x14 in. each. This was simply too much to ask I thought and mine became a descent from representation to abstraction. (It was also a strange time in NYC. 9/11 had just happened and we were all in emotional shock like a collection of train wrecks, trying to get on with our lives. I also had to face my first of what turned out to be many many eye surgeries, which was a personal hell all in itself, more on all that some other time.)

My point is the series of ink wash self portraits that were clearly showing going from a labored representational 1-3 or so, and by the time number 8, 9, and 10 can to be, they were all pretty abstract. Funny side note: I always loved ink wash and pen and ink. In high school I remember creating an ink self-portrait which showed the skeleton coming through on one side, so I have been abstracting and playing with human forms and ink wash for a long long time, or at least since the late 90's. So this drawing class, my professor, seemed disappointed at my evolution into abstraction. But they also then brought in some photocopies of explosions and mushroom clouds and then put those at the top of the head. BOOM. Let's just say my head has been blown open with abstracting the human form creating psychological portraits of shifting emotional states for a long time, and I am still completely fascinated with it.

It is most likely that this style and subject matter will be around my studio for a while, now with brighter colors, more life experience, more depth of thought and drafting. It's like I finally figured out how to combine all my drawing and painting loves in one surface and subject. These are some sweet pieces to work on between the larger drawings and the larger oil paintings. If you can't tell by my bio, apparently I like to have a lot going on.

Enjoy the photos of some of the 2021 Emotional Portraits, all named for their color, year and number. Another day I will tell you about how and when I first fell in love with yupo paper.

See if any of these originals are available in the shop here -

Check out a Print available on Society6 here

Enjoy the gallery below, and you can see process videos on my Social Media (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok)

I will let you know if I dig up some of those drawing from art school class.

Enjoy your state of being.


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