Katharina Gifford | Spring! New class, new portrait, the Met Breuer show…
Contemporary Maine Realist Portrait Painter
Maine portrait painter, Portland, Maine, contemporary realist painter, oil on canvas, drawings, portraits, still life, figurative art
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Spring! New class, new portrait, the Met Breuer show…

Charcoal Self-Portrait (alla Kathe Kollwitz)

It’s almost as if winter never really happened, at least in our part of town. Except of course for the 3-5 inches of snow we got on the first day of Spring. No biggie…
After a great short visit with Ronald Frontin and talking about color, and then finding some leftover red panels from Steven’s workshop, I decided to stop working on the original studies that I’d already spent hours on, and start anew.  Rather than scratch out or re-work, I started a new piece. Totally worth it, because I was able to see from my previous work the stuff I wasn’t doing right. So note to self, when in doubt, just start over again! This piece definitely pushed the finished/unfinished look that I like to have (see Met Breuer discussion below!)  


The first of the 5-week Farnsworth course series started on Saturday and was a success! I’m excited to spread the gospel – the gospel of creating a good drawing and trying to get the figure right. I’ve been working with a couple of models recently to help figure out my own process of drawing. Since I’ve learned about drawing from so many different sources, I’ve been able to see what works and what doesn’t as far as the process goes. The FAA taught me about a good block-in, a necessary method for literally blocking in the figure. Outside of that, I’ve learned that capturing the gesture of the figure is also super important. So basically my method combines the two. The folks in the class are great and are eager to get the figure down right, which is invigorating for sure!


I snuck into NYC recently (again, one of my favorite places in the world) and saw the Vigée Le Brun show at the Met. Such a cool show. Although my good friend who I went with (creative nurse practitioner/social justice extraordinaire) was quick to notice the bit in the intro piece on the wall about how this was the first time that there has been an exhibit of the sort for this painter, although she was accomplished.


However, what I wasn’t able to see yet was the new Met Brauer space that was opening this past weekend. I think the direction that the Met is going (that is, the spreading out that they are doing) is wonderful. I am unbelievably excited to get back down there specifically to see the inaugural show ‘Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible’, particularly because of my own work that always has unfinished bits in it, and it’s so interesting to have a full show dedicated to the idea. The show has works that were literally paintings that were left unfinished by old masters, and then those that were made to appear unfinished. I just find it fascinating and LOVE to see the unfinished bits in paintings because it allows you to see the artist’s thought process, or at least their technical process. I am one of those people who makes the buzzer go off in museums when my nose is too close to a painting, because it’s so cool to see it up close, and to try and figure out how it was done. Long story short, I can’t wait to see this show. Luckily it’s up until September…right?

Here’s a video that the Met made about it (a trailer of sorts):

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