Deven Green Diagonals

One of my greatest challenges in painting is matching the brilliance of the model to the portrait. Painting a person is easy. The contouring of their face, the unendless building of the architecture of their form and expression have come naturally over the years, but the roadblocks I face come down to the very story I’m telling when painting. With the Disney collection, the connection comes easy. Disney characters have a thick and rich history that connect the viewer to the art automatically. It is built on the foundation of nostalgia and childhood memories which easily bonds a persons sinewy emotional fibers to the character. Pushing the envelope on these concepts come down to building a style around the property that elevates their already established memorable base.

Now with painting portraits of humans, the task becomes more challenging, mainly because of the action of acquainting the viewer who may be unaware of the model to exactly who she/he is. Painting the person is a small portion of the challenge. The larger half of the mission is to tell the observer who they are without saying a word.

With that being said, I found myself for days walking around this primed white canvas in my studio. Back and forth I paced around this unusually large white slab with Deven Green’s face crudely sketched in the soft white palate. I spent hours researching the emotion of color, going over and over with hundreds of choices spread around the floor around me. Many questions plagued me, but the one I struggled with was

“How does one communicate the very essence of Deven Green?”

We are aware that Deven is hilarious. Her humor is a Canadian ukulele twang of rhythmic  wit that wrestles a slue of previously unconnected words into the most loveably odd catchphrases that leave you pinned to the floor and crying with laughter. I have found myself hiccuping in hilarity over her many popular videos over the years. I think we all can say that her humor is unique, quirky, and refreshing which has made her as popular as she is.

But after meeting her and her equally talented and hilarious husband Joel Bryant through the charming connections of Joe Fitzryk, I found myself working around far more than her humor. There were hundred of multifaceted layers that suddenly presented itself in front of me, which as time went on became more and more complex.

So I worked out a pattern, and revised, and worked it out again. I brought hundreds of colors to the table and whittled it down to around 20 of them. I then cracked my knuckles and began the process. In the beginning I was tiptoeing around project, but somewhere in the middle, like a dam breaking, it just burst and overflowed onto the previously white canvas. Everything just came all at the right moment, the patterns matched and exploded from its origins, and I was left with this, just, beautiful massive piece that I became very proud of.

In essence, I think I matched the brilliance of the subject.


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