Creativity Workshop: Creative Portrait Reader Responses

In the February 2008 issue of Watercolor Artist, Melissa Adkison challenged readers to bring creativity into their portraits by telling a story. “More than just a face, the subject of every portrait is a living story that artists share with their viewers,” she says. “The way in which the story is told is limited only by the artist’s creativity and imagination.” (Read a full summary of the column here.) Many artists responded to Adkison’s call and unleashed their imaginations to create bold and enlivened watermedia portraits. Here’s a selection of some of our favorite submissions:

Self Portrait
by Martha Brower
“I’m submitting a portrait I did of myself while struggling over the death of our son from brain cancer. I painted a self portrait, then cut it into pieces and reassembled it. It’s a collage, showing my fractured inner-self, put back together in some fashion, but perhaps not complete.”

Wait Staff
by Kay Smith
“Using gouache to tell my story of an imaginary waiter juggling his wine and restaurant responsibilities was a way to illustrate these oft-forgotten employees. Just as they are woven into the fabric of every eating establishment, the wait staff are colorful supporting players.”

The Puzzle Puzzler
by Carol Anderson
“This painting began as a photo taken by my daughter. I loved the subject and as I worked with it, I decided that something else was needed to make the painting more interesting, so the puzzle worker became the puzzle.”

Dream Girl
by June Rollins
“I met the subject of my painting while at the local chiropractor, where she works. I’ve wanted to paint Kanestra since the first time I saw her because of her striking features. I thought this pose and the leopard hat had a story to tell. I imagined her to be a young actress, still wearing the hat she auditioned in—she’s hoping and dreaming about her big break. Thanks for the inspiration and direction.”

New! Send us your Creativity Workshop Activity for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate from Jerry’s Artarama. In the April 2008 issue of Watercolor Artist, Nancy Collins invites you to discover new creative territories: “Bring new energy to your work by experimenting with a process or a surface. Select subjects that mirror the qualities you’d like to explore with your choices. For example, if you’d like to experiment with a burnishing process as I did, select subjects that will be enhanced by a shining surface. Learning through trial and error can be challenging and it can also reap unexpected rewards. It’s all about finding what works for you—and running with it,” she says. (Read a full summary of the column here.)

Send a JPEG image (with a resolution of 72 dpi) of your painting to us today. E-mail or send a disc to Watercolor Artist, Creativity Workshop, Experiment Activity, 4700 E. Galbraith Road, Cincinnati OH 45236. The new extended deadline for entry is May 10, 2008.

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