Welcome to Coffee with Strangers #1! For the duration of this post, I’m going to refer to the subject as “Jake”, just because I’m still trying to figure out confidentiality ethics when I’m painting a portrait of someone I don’t know well. This painting is part of a larger series I’ve started that has resulted from a Craiglist ad I posted, asking people if they were willing to trade a cup of coffee for their picture.
Why would anyone say yes to that?
Good question. When I started I wasn’t sure if anyone would. I put it up under the “gigs” section of craigslist, which meant that many of the people who replied were artists themselves. I think the yes replies may have come out of the convergence of curiosity/empathy/adventure for the people who replied.
Why did this person say yes, specifically?
Jake told me that he frequently responds to craigslist adds asking for help or favors. He told me two stories about replying to adds, one was about buying diapers for a woman who asked for some help and the other was about spending a couple of weeks helping to clean out someone’s woodshop. I really appreciated him being willing to be part of this project; I’m sure a lot of people on craigslist have appreciated stepping in at random.
On this painting I used a combination of screws, cedar wood shims, acrylic paint, enamel paint, plumber’s glue, and vinyl floor tile. The vinyl floor tile was used to disrupt some of the texture issues I ran into in the past. For skin, vinyl floor tile doesn’t have any of the rough texture of the cedar wood shingles. While the painting is still texture-centric in many ways, using more materials allows me a degree of control that I think turn out to my advantage during this painting.
There are also a lot of good studies/b-sides to this painting. My attempts at portraiture has meant a lot more sketching and development time than my scenery, simply because I’m not yet totally comfortable doing portraits. I’ll post some of these b-sides soon.
I’d love to hear people’s thoughts about this painting!