Where it all started…

I’ve been really preoccupied with work and homework lately so I haven’t had too much time to post like I want to. Sorry!! But I did want to push myself to make time for this particular post because it was around this time last year that I started up this blog. Soooo I guess that would make this my 1st Bloggiversary!! (is that even how you spell it?!)

Cue the confetti and triumphant horns.

Anyway, I thought that I would take things waaay back and talk about the first piece of artwork that truly inspired me. I was about 20 years old I think and I went to the National Gallery in DC for a field trip with my art history class. The main exhibit featured English artist Thomas Gainsborough and a vast collection of his portrait work and landscapes. In one of the rooms was this painting of a famous dancer in the 1700s:

Giovanna Baccelli, Thomas Gainsborough 1782. Oil on canvas.

Entranced, I was. It was the first time I felt a connection to a particular piece of artwork or artist. It also inspired me to make my first real decision about a career as an artist: to be a portrait painter. Though I had no idea how to make that happen, seeing that exhibit made the dream seem so possible. It literally changed my life!

I admired how Gainsborough captured movement and personality in his portraits, and what I could only assume to be very strong likenesses. The whole process of creating a portrait piece seemed so intimate and collaborative, I liked that about it. To be good at it, it seemed that you have to know how to read the person and bring out that certain “oomph” through the paint. That’s what I can only hope to do when I work on portraits…I’ll get there hopefully. Although I’m in love with the painterly, loose brushwork kind of style I can hardly do it myself. haha…though it isn’t from lack of trying. My style is a lot more…placid, haha, than the way that Gainsborough painted but I do alright. Here is one of my best pieces (in my opinion):

Maria, T. Turner 2009. Oil on canvas.

It’s been about a year since I started putting more focus into my goals and I admit, I still haven’t found a balance in fitting it in with all the other stuff in life. However it’s slowly but surely getting there. That’s why I do this blog now – to force myself to make time to be connected with creative expression in SOME way, to let you all in on what’s going on with me, and to share others’ hard work! I hope to be able to offer others the same sort of inspiration or spark that I felt when I first saw that Thomas Gainsborough painting, even if it’s in a small way. So a HUGE thank you!!to all of you that stop by, comment, “like” Purple Paintbrush on Facebook and so on because I do this for you just as much as I do it for myself. Cheers!

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