I was looking for something (which I didn’t find) but found something else that I hadn’t seen in many years. It was a sketch workbook from a creativity class I took in the 1990’s. There was a lot of writing in it–that was an integral part of the class–but also page after page of sketches in a style that definitely was not mine but also definitely executed by me. I guess that was the point of taking a creativity class–to push you way way way beyond your usual boundaries. So I thought it would be interesting to put these “portraits” up for your entertainment and amazement (not to mention my amazement as I looked at them with fresh eyes). The way I remember it, some of these were done during class using other students as models and some were fantasy. I think at least one was a self-portrait, but since it’s been so long and it’s not my typical more realistic style I couldn’t say which one that was.
The medium we were required to use in the class was oil pastels. I had never used them before, but soon discovered that the richness of color, the layering ability, and the fact that you could rub them or scrape through them down to fainter layers made them quite flexible and liberating. Since I had no experience with them, I was free to employ them with abandon, unfettered by any previous experience of what “worked” in the past.