Belinda on Blue

© 2017 – 2018 | Oil on Canvas

Belinda was, by far, the most challenging portrait for me to execute – taking, in total, three months to complete.

A force of Nature, Belinda is complicated: people are drawn to her presence and she deflects the focus back to them. Her classes are filled with love and acceptance – as she pushes you to submit to the challenges of a deeper Yoga practise.

I had completed a full portrait of her – but it didn’t quite fit: the source images weren’t the best, her hair was a puzzle to me, and her expression not quite right.

I flopped around in messy uncertainty. After a second photo session, I could see what had been taxing – but I needed to preserve the remaining blue abstraction while working only over the previous portrait.

Painting her tattoo was especially challenging as I wanted to make it feel like ink embedded in epidermis wrapping around the brachium at the glenohumeral joint. Often I see body modifications rendered in a superficial way. I wanted to capture the feeling of the design as light passes over the form.

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