Friday, February 20, 2009


I had the pleasure this week of doing a public portrait demo for members of The Camarillo Art Center, Ventura, CA.,  painting my favorite model, the very talented young actress Cassie Y. She brings so much energy and beauty to the room. We like each other a lot and have worked together a- plenty.  I would book her more but she is always darn 'acting-up-a storm'.  I find her 'energy' quite delightful in an L.A. alfalfa sprout kinda way.

When THIS demo was being arranged, the subject came up with the organizer as to WHO would be my model?  Couldn't I just do....? Why? Really?

Well, I don't think I really explained myself that well with hindsight so apologies for that and with respect, let me now explain why my choice was important for me...

The beauty of blogs, n'est ce pas? (Getting ready for France chaps!) 

When I demo, (or teach in my class at LAAFA), I talk SO much, that I look for a face that I know somewhat and that I can easily put on my canvas. This is because I feel a teaching demo should be just that. For the purposes of teaching. Not me delivering a masterpiece quietly with  IPOD headphones on, or music playing, with no step by step instruction to the assembled group. The chances of a masterpiece are very slim in the first place!!

You always have a 50/5o percent chance of a success or a disaster on the very best painting day in your quiet studio. Forget a public demo. The pressure is on.   Until you do public painting, you won't know this pressure. It is called the FEAR OF FAILURE in public. Easier going naked for Playboy. At least you know what you are working with. 

I prepare for my public demos and my classes BIGTIME every week. I bring props, (THINK PINK headscarf on this demo), handouts, teaching aids, whatever I can think of to make it a good art lesson. Hell, I will even wear candyfloss if it helps.

I talk a mile a minute, wanting to share what I have been given. I believe in this in such a heartfelt way. Play it forward. This is THE reason why I started teaching in the first place.  Certainly not to make money!

I choose to think pink not green $$. Although pink is nice in Playboy. Especially fluffy ostrich  feathery stuff.


Marian Fortunati said...

Wow... They really got some great photos didn't they??

All of us in class enjoyed seeing your portrait of Cassie... hard to believe you could paint that wonderfully with all the explaining you were doing and in such a short time.

You rock, Johanna.

Isn't it a BEAUTIFUL day??? I'm going plein air painting tomorrow with some friends... Yipppee... Hopefully it will be as pretty tomorrow as it is today.

Tonya said...

Hi Joanna, I enjoy your blog! I can't believe it's been over a year since Mr. Kinstler's wonderful workshop at Richason's! So fun meeting you there. Cheers, Tonya

Marian Fortunati said...

Did you add in this whole pink thing and all of explanation about the model later?? Very interesting... I must have missed it the first time i looked.
I was just reading about a landscape artist who paints a landscape she has already painted when doing "performance art". Similar motives!!

Portrait Painting By Johanna Spinks said...

Yes, Marian, I added pink text last night. I had to think about what i wanted to say for a while. I liked the pink and green idea as the painting was pretty much done in just those two colors. Very limited palette.