One to Another

December 1, 2009

11/24-12/1/2009 Jacque-Rigo-Jesse

Filed under: --Jacque & Rigo + Jesse, 1-Progress/Sessions — pendantportraits @ 4:00 am

I’m in Yonkers, New York for a week to paint my sister, Jacque; brother-in-law, Rigo; and their son, Jesse.  Jacque is very fair (winter complexion) and Rigo is from Honduras; Jesse is a perfect blend of their coloration and facial shapes. I’m working in acrylic on 12×9 portrait canvas. I hope to be able to complete the set with one exploration sketchbook session (1 hour), one drawing on canvas session (1 hour), one major painting session (3 hours), and one follow up session each (1 hour).

In their respective portraits, Rigo is wearing his clerical collar; Jesse is in his favorite pale blue shirt; and Jacque is in a ruffled top and gray jacket with a necklace of large pearl-like beads. We all brainstormed potential unifying elements. Jacque’s suggestion of corn was a leading contender (as this of equal importance in Iowa as it is in Honduras). Due to the importance of the Church in their lives, I eventually decided to place “Amen” above Jacque and Rigo’s portraits; and Jesse, which means, “God exists,” wanted to write this reference to himself. Each has written out their respective statement of belief, which I transferred by tracing after rubbing charcoal on the back side. This makes their handwriting, which is a symbolic sign of the self, part of the work. Other possibilities included one of Jesse’s paintings; a symbol of a Jesse tree; and the Palisades along the Hudson River, which are visible from their front door.

Tues – arrived late at night.

Wed — drew Jacque in sketchbook; and Rigo in sketchbook and on canvas.

Thur – painted Rigo, drew Jesse in sketchbook; repaired painting from 1989 (a gift for their wedding).

Fri – drew Jesse on canvas; at night, to Met: Watteau & Music, Velazquez Rediscovered (cleaned portrait and related works), Vermeer’s Milkmaid and other works by Vermeer and his contemporaries, American Stories (Homer, Copley, Sargent, & many others), and a stained glass Jesse tree.

Sat – painted Jesse, drew Jacque on canvas; purchased palette knife, retarding agent, kneaded eraser, and more.

Sun – MoMA 1-5 pm; 7 pm repainted Jesse’s background again (pale lemon green over Italian pink), darkened hair, deepened shadows on neck and shirt; lightened shadows on lower half of face; 10:30-11:30 pm highlighted drawing of Jacque on canvas and layed in light color throughout. Used all of the supplies that I bought on Saturday. Honduran national vote – 30% turn out. In-filled paint loss on 1989 painting.

Mon – Rigo and Jesse – final session; Jacque – major session and final session (basically, I painted all day and until nearly midnight!).

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