Friday, January 16, 2009


There is nothing better than when a beautiful model walks in the room and you just can't wait to paint her. Itch....itch..itch.

There is nothing worse than being the teacher in that room  knowing you will have to paint her really fast so you can deliver some good instruction to your students who are also painting 'said' model. I rarely get in the "zone" painting for class instruction purposes. I am not showing my best work but I do feel it important that teachers paint. I would avoid a teacher who never paints in a class like seven day old lox. I  had a couple of those in the early days and they were definitely fishy. I can't believe with the poor instruction they got away with. I didn't know any better.

I do sometimes wonder why I do it though. Students rarely watch me paint for more than a few minutes. It baffles me to be honest.  I understand they want to get on with their own work (really I do!)   but, the thing is, the problems they are facing are the ones I am facing just on a different level. A lot is lost in the learning classroom curve if you don't watch an instructor paint.  

Anyway, today was one of those great days when it all came together, the experience as luscious as a jellied eel. The model, wonderful Stevie, entered the room in a dress she had made and tie-died herself.

 I went "Uh-oh". I am really going to want to paint her. Should I even bother?  Will this be an exercise in frustration for me or, if I get on a creative role, a deprivation to the students somehow. I know from experience it is such a juggling act, the left and right brain slugging it out on the teaching tightrope.

Anyway the luck of the teaching gods were with me and the students and it all turned out great.
 I was pretty happy with the results. It was the best UNWATCHED demo of my teaching career....SSHHHHH....

A big thank you to all my students this semester at LAAFA which finished today.  There was some wonderful work going on, with or without watching me, but I have got to find something to blog about so I take advantage of you here. It is a privilege to share your art journey. And I smell pretty good thanks to Guerlain. Not fishy at all.


Marian Fortunati said...

Yours turned out soooo beautifully!! And although I don't watch the strokes, I always enjoy it when you bring it out and use it to illustrate the lesson about what we SHOULD BE DOING.

Stevie was gorgeous and although, mine didn't turn out so beautifully, I will work on this one as I think it will eventually be a lovely study. (And yes, I know I SHOULD HAVE BEEN WATCHING... might have gotten those gorgeous eyes right!

Be well, Teach... We love learning from you!

Portrait Painting By Johanna Spinks said...

Thanks Marian...yes, I think yours definitely worth finishing. Don't be too frustrated. Just go back to the soft block in you had of the sockets and keep it subdued from there on out.

And YOU pay great attention in class I have to say. And you watch often. I KNOW...

You also have been with me a while so you have seen a lot of it before. Some haven't.

YOu are also painting like a dream....

Rhonda said...

Beautiful head study, I would have watced if I could have! Her eyes are gorgeous.


Joan Breckwoldt said...

Johanna, this painting is GORGEOUS! You are SO talented, I wish I could take classes from you, but I live in Texas. I take classes once a week and my teacher (William Kalwick) always does a demo and the whole class, except maybe one student, watch intently as he paints. Those demos are invaluable to me. Thank you for visiting my blog!

jbiziou said...

That was a great Class Johanna,, Yes Stevie was really sweet, she was beautiful and had really nice energy,,

bye the way I did watch you paint quite a bit even though I was wanting to work on mine too :) hehe

I am glad you have a big full class this quarter :) I hope they take advantage of your great teaching :)

Marian Fortunati said...

Okay, Luv!!
I know you've been busy, but it's BEEN THREE WEEKS!!!
You have soooooooooooo many interesting things to share...

So share!!

redchair said...

Hello Fair Artist who does such beautiful portraiture,

We have been watching you. We are artist also. At least that's what they call us. You may even know us. We'd like to invite you to a member of our very Private Club. We're very selective and only an elite few are welcome on our hallowed grounds. We pick you.

We even have a little 'chit chat' room just for the likes of you. It's rightfully called Dante's Pub. But when your enter BEWARE! You are entering the abyss of the artist mind! You may not find your way out.

You're welcome to watch from afar while drinking your brew or pull up a chair and join us for a little chat. Be sure and register and then log in. After all, this is a very private club. We don't allow just any wanderer in our midst.

Don't dilly dally now! It wont cost you a pence. Check out The Artist Challenge and Dante's Pub- that is if your daring and think yourself worthy to be amongst the souls we've claimed?

Farewell...until we hear from you,
Master Mike and the Pub Wench

Artist Challenge-
Dante‘s Pub -

PictureSpy Mac said...

This is a GREAT site. I love some of these sketches you've done. That last one (model with short hair) is so beautiful!!
Thanks for sending me the link!