Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Another Experiment


Soccer Player, Senegal, Africa
14" x 18" on Tyvek

This past summer, my teenage granddaughter spent a month in Senegal teaching English to young school children and coaching boys soccer. As Jamie says, "Girls do not play soccer in Senegal" (except for her, of course).  Jamie lives in a small town in Northeastern Vermont, so this was a growth experience for her. She wanted to volunteer where the primary language is French. She learned a lot where she lived with an upper class family with electrical power just certain hours of the day, dinner was 11 p.m. when the day temperatures cooled,  and she became good friends with the maid while washing her limited modest wardrobe in the backyard by hand. The deal was that Jamie would raise the money for the trip.

Jamie took some fabulous photos and one of them was of a young man. He looked like teens everywhere, and I found that so interesting. I need a good title to suggest that similarity and I am drawing a blank. I also would love to use "red" in the title, because this is a piece I am considering entering in the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society "Red or Read" exhibit. (You know I have also worked on another.) If you have any thoughts, let me know.

In 2010, I took a portrait class from Myrna Wacknov who does very experimental work. If you haven't seen her blog, do check it out. In fact, she is currently featured in "Watercolor Artist Magazine" and the April issue that comes out in March will carry her article on creativity.  One day we painted on Tyvek, a material often used for packaging and graphics and very resistant to watercolor. It's just filled with wonderful fibers so you are guaranteed great texture. As she recommended, I used Dr. Ph Martin's liquid watercolors. I want to paint this one again, because I see some things I want to do differently (more light on the lit side of his face, more variation of color in his skin, better drawing, to name a few.There is also one fiber bisecting his chin that won't take the paint.)  I hadn't painted on the surface for over a year, so I was working at getting the hang of it again.

4 comments:

conservativelybohemian said...

Wonderful shading and a fabulous photo reference for your thoughts on this piece, Mary. What great poise this young man has!

hw (hallie) farber said...

This is terrific, Mary. I love the way his face and background share a color.

I still haven't tried tyvek yet(but this makes it enticing). I know you'll find the perfect title just around the corner.

Mary Paquet said...

Sherry, I'm glad you like the shading. Of course, my reference photo was taken on a dirt street without lots of shading, so imagination was involved.

Hallie, my son sent me a note and said, "A popular saying that Jamie came back with is, "This Is Africa.". It was simply shortened to "TIA.". It was used to overcome frustration and good natured disbelief with how things worked there. Examples would be having a big screen TV but no stove or hot water, wearing an Addidas shirt and a Nike baseball cap, and telling you about why no one likes the United States, etc., etc.

I believe, I've found a title. Now to take another stab at painting this one.

hmuxo said...

This came out really well, Mary! I love the shadowing on his face. I'm looking forward to your next painting of him...!