Monday, October 13, 2008

Portrait #6: Brian

So far Brian has been the most "involved" sitter I have drawn. (Meaning he kept nagging "Can I see it?? Make my chin longer, move my eyebrow up. I don't think my ear goes out that far" etc. If you remember from the first post, he was the one that asked not to be drawn as "skinny and Jewish". That portrait failed pretty hard because of my attention to his requests although I went pretty wild with the texture of his sweater (which he wore again in this portrait). This time around, he was very interested in the other sitters' requests for certain features and was very pleased that I subconsciously emphasized his Italian side. Brian has a newfound affinity for Italian culture after spending a year in Florence. After I was done with the drawing he commended me that it looked like an Italian fresco. Mostly I like the rumpledness of his sweater and how it shows his slouchy posture. The picture above reveals the witty, performative side of Brian's personality.

Brian had a really good time eating the Trader Joe's Ginger Snaps while being drawn, and talking about his crazy dreams which he was excited to go to sleep for. We also went to town making up new lyrics to "Wagon Wheel" pertaining to Obama. (e.g. "rock me momma like a wagon wheel" --> "barack obama can cook brisket meals") We tried to incorporate both mainstream media coverage of the election but also some radical politics "Barack obama let's be real, barack obama you're imperial. youuuuuuu can project onto him your politics". To which Brian "HA HA HA HA HA"ed at for about a commercial slot length of time.

I'm Beth Slutzky and I endorse this message.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Portrait #5: Muriel

"Have you ever drawn any of your friends naked?" Muriel asked.
"People? Yes, many. My friends? Not recently," I replied.
"Well..." she said and we both nodded. "I could wear my bra and panties...?"

So then we listened to "Disturbia" by Rihanna for the fiftieth time in our apartment and talked about how it was probably about the collapse of Capitalism (check out the lyrics) while I began to draw her sitting on my bed. I had just done laundry and all my "hang to dry" clothes were doing just that. I thought this floral dress would be a nice 2nd character in the story because it would bring up a bunch of stuff about femme identity in Muriel's portrait and bring up questions about how she feels being naked and scrutinized by her friend. She has been my most patient sitter so far which I think contributes to the good proportions in this portrait even if the composition is kind of strange. She looks very alert and focused which is also how I feel she is about our friendship.

Here is a picture of the dress, after I had it in my closet overnight. Miraculously its folds were in the same position, I guess since it had dried that way. Maybe Muriel's folds are the same today because she dried that way also.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Portrait #4: Ellary

Ellary was singing soulfully along to Nina Simone while I drew her, practicing for a performance she did Thursday night. She got so into the music that it made her move around a lot. Her palms pressed together in her lap made it look like she was praying. I could tell that it was an out of body experience but that didn't stop me from telling her that she needed to change back to her original position so that I could get the drawing right. Maybe that's why her shoulder is so big in the picture-- she was sinking further and further to her right as she sang with her eyes closed. Next time I draw Ellary hopefully it won't be one of her practice nights.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Portrait #3: Spencer B.

When I drew Spencer, he unknowingly followed a trend in my sitters, by requesting that I don't make his nose and ears too big. He congratulated me afterwards that I satisfied his needs. Personally, I think I made him look like a Backstreet Boy, with the whole bent knee and clean-cut look. Also maybe he fits into this Backstreet Boys video:

My question for Spencer is why he abstained from the wet t-shirt contest and chest-fondling which comes along with the package.