I have been painting portraits from life in either 2 or 3 sessions each week. So, while these aren't really completed portraits, they are all studies done from life. I am making this part of my weekly painting regiment so I can continue to improve my observational skills and have this complement the work I am doing using photographs.
During the residency in June, I had both my past advisor Tony Apesos, and current advisor Laurel Sparks, point out some aspects on each of the paintings to consider. Additionally, I had my first meeting with my mentor, Stephen, last week and he went through on each of the paintings and discussed the areas he felt were problematic. Both he and Tony thought I needed to repaint David's hands on the Lego piece, so I will be taking photo of my husband's hands fumbling with Legos to see if I can get those to be working a little better.
There is also the reworking of Reggie's cup to make it more visually interesting, Jeff's face to make it more rounded, David's head and skull rework, Frank's t-shirt to glaze, Joan's arm to rethink values on and also some more subtle tone variations on her face along with David's face.
These small changes to each of the paintings may or may not be very apparent to most people, but I'm hoping that these little alterations will help make the work better. I am also remasking and redoing all the edges in white and painting over my signature.
The decision on whether or not to have a signature is a strange discussion, indeed. Artists were anonymous for years until the Renaissance. Giotto is one of the first artists to decide to sign his work and start the notion of the individual artist. Now, why we have decided recently to eliminate the signature is curious to me. I'm not sure I care all that much, I just find it curious. Are we all channeling our inner Roland Barthes and deciding that authorship is truly dead or is just an aesthetic choice? I don't really know, but I like these paintings better without my signature anyways, so maybe I just lucked out.