Artist Angle - Research, History, Expression

Artist Angle - Research, History, Expression

Before beginning a piece, I will do extensive research on the subject I paint to get to know them better. I put herself in their shoes. I learn everything I can about their life. Before I ever pick up the brush to paint, I think: "What does this person stand for?" I do this kind of research in order to fully understand my subjects' life and purpose and to be able to express it on canvas.

I mostly buy my reference books from second hand stores, such as Half-Price Books. Old books at stores like this contain photos and texts that just don't come up in popular searches on the internet. I enjoy books that give historical context; books that give detailed explanations about big historical events.

Books like this help me understand timelines. It might shock you who's lives overlapped; Hitler and Bob Marley, Einstein and David Bowie.

I have this illustrated journal of Frida Kahlo's. It is has scans and reproductions of her exact diary entries and her handwriting. It's stunning and devastating. It doesn't just contain just facts about her life, but of her innermost feelings and drawings.

I also found this collection of letters between Einstein and his first wife, Mileva. If you think scientists aren't passionate, buckle up!

I study fashion and jewelry a lot so I can communicate through clothing in my portraits. The changing styles and clothing overtime represent so much of what happens in our world. When and why hemlines shortened and where patterns originate from, what does wearing each color mean in different countries? It's so interesting! I really enjoy the nuance and meaning behind accessories, especially the spiritual meanings of gemstones and metals

I also love books about the British Royals. Their whole lives are meticulously documented in photos. Diana is such a fashion! I love photos of her from the 80s. Her photos feel so genuine and candid.

I take so much pride in my research, making sure my portraits represent the most accurate information about the people I paint. Research is such an integral part of my process.