I bet everyone wonders what an artist does when she is alone in her studio. In my case I am surrounded by a confusion of the tools of my trade.
Along one wall is an almost ceiling high bookcase holding old loose-leaf notebooks filled with photos of my work in plastic envelops. I call this my archives. You will also find file boxes filled with years of photos, collected reference material like photos (almost all mine), printed material like old sheet music, buttons, certificates, sea glass, and much more.
The photos reflect my years of photography classes. I took classes at our local community college, Thomas Nelson Community College. They were about to force me to declare it my major. I responded that I already had a BA In Psychology and a Masters in Guidance and Counseling from the College of William and Mary and needed another degree like the proverbial hole in the head. It was pre-internet and the collected photos from my classes were mostly black and white and processed by me in the darkroom, swished around in chemical baths after using my hands to dodge and burn them. I used a bathroom at home and would yell at my kids “Don’t open the door” because I needed total darkness.
Color was at the tail end of my class load. 35mm was our camera of choice. Slides loaded into page after page of plastic sheets was our end product. It was the 80’s. I now almost exclusively use my iPhone 13 which almost seems like cheating.
I had an older mac computer sitting on my drafting table, a printer , a surface for my brushes and paints and of course my gigantic easel. Add a few more flat surfaces to frame, sketch, and play and that is my world.
Oh and a very small TV hung on the wall.
An idea rumbled through my head … what if I challenged myself to start painting him the moment he started his address and stop exactly when he did (18.5 minutes later)?
So that is what I did.
The art seen here is the finished product with no touch-ups except to add my words. Of course there are bits and pieces I would redo or enhance or change but it remains untouched.
I always thought it would be amazing if President Obama’s presidential library accepted it. What an honor.
But I have no contacts who are connected to President Obama and could make that happen. Unless one of my readers thought it is a worthy project and could make it happen.
Whatever happens to it, I am glad I was in my studio, at the easel and conveniently had a canvas nearby. My years of courtroom art were great preparation for drawing people moving around.
President Obama pretty much stayed put!