The idea for Beggar Woman came from a chance encounter while walking down a busy street in Paris. Strolling along, my attention was drawn to a elderly woman holding out her cup. No one else on the street paid her any attention. Passersby just walked by as we all often do when confronted with the uncomfortable issue of begging. I am of course accustomed to running across downtrodden men looking for a handout, but somehow this sad, old curmudgeon struck me. She probably was someone's mother and grandmother. Imaging her spending her golden years begging on a Paris street touched my heart.
This chance encounter spawned a series of paintings based on the theme of "my" beggar woman. I changed the medium, the composition, or the view with each painting. In the first painting shown above, I worked in oils, a medium new to me, but one that feels enjoyable as I apply it to the canvas. In the second painting I used a mixed medium initially applying an under layer of black and white gesso followed by watercolor, acrylic and oil pastel crayon. In the third painting, I applied water color gouache on a very smooth illustration board. Painting in a series provides me a method for developing my theme and fine tuning my ideas as well as honing my techniques. This series is still in process.
My trip to Chile gave me many new opportunities to meet interesting people. One trip involved traveling by boat up the coast of Chile to an island. This captain had such an interesting face that I just had to paint him. I initially used watercolor on canvas but felt like I could not capture the cragginess of his facewith watercolor so I used acrylic over top of the watercolor. I am not sure that it made a difference in the end product but I felt like I accomplished the feeling I was aiming for. In addition, I have some photos of his crew
members that I want to capture in paint. These men were involved in taking care of the boat, pulling in the lines, securing the boat, helping the tourists aboard and generally getting us ready to push off. I enjoy painting people who are actively involved in their work. I am always looking for people who are involved with other people ...interacting with others and with whatever feelings they may portray. It is hard to capture people like this either in sketch or by photo because so much is happening so quickly but it is worth the time and effort. The face, figure, emotions and the connections between people are my main focus. Am I getting it? Let me know! Donna
"Captain" Acrylic on Canvas
Donna Inkster is a watercolor/acrylic artist who lives in Decatur, Georgia. Visit Donna's Gallery http://gallery.me.com/donnainkster/100015 to see more of Donna's work.