So I painted something. Slept in. Walked the dog. Enjoyed the gorgeous weather. Spent time with my husband. Caught up with old friends.
I may not be counting down the days till my due date (the daily baby emails I get are doing that for me!), but I am keenly aware that life is about to change VERY soon. Something tells me I'm not quite ready yet. I still have a couple of paintings to finish. I've enjoyed working on several commissioned portraits, which I will post photos of very soon, but those are still not finished. I've also kept busy with numerous other projects to supplement my need for the challenges of figurative work, and the adrenaline rush of alla prima painting (and also to distract myself from the fact that I'm about to have a baby!).
One of those alla prima portraits happened yesterday at the Society of Figurative Arts. SOFA is the studio of the wonderful Michael Mentler, who is a very dear friend of mine and someone I respect immensely. I used to go there and paint live portraits every week, but since my world has been so crazy lately, I have only had the luxury of going a few times within the last eight months. I had a couple of reasons for wanting to go, of course. First, my energy level was excellent (one can never take that for granted when they are 9 months pregnant)! Second, I hadn't done a live alla prima portrait in quite a few weeks. Third, I wanted to hear all about the Portrait Society conference. Michael and several others from here in Dallas had been able to go, while I begrudgingly stayed behind thanks to airline travel restrictions for pregnant women. It broke my heart to miss it, having been to the last five conferences and knowing that they are often a major highlight of my year. Michael even described the PSOA as a "second church" to me... I think he is right!
I heard that the conference was one of the best they've ever had, if not THE best. I was very happy to hear from Michael that he visited with some of the most remarkable and talented artists alive. While I again felt some of the pangs that had hit me over the weekend, hearing about the conference made me more determined than ever to make it back next year.
Meanwhile, we had an excellent model at the studio (thank you, Ann!), so I let out my pent-up FOMO by painting one of the best 3-hour alla prima heads I've done in quite some time. It was invigorating and fun, and I felt so much better afterwards! The moral of the story... it's always better to keep busy and PAINT SOMETHING than to sit around wishing you were somewhere else. :-)
"Ann" - 16x12" - oil on linen panel (3 hours alla prima)