Tuesday, August 28, 2012

57 Portraits By Johanna Spinks Unveiled....

The Face of Ventura By Johanna Spinks is Unveiled At Ventura County Museum

Spinks with FOOD Share CEO Bonnie Weigel. FOOD Share partnered with Spinks on the event.

The portrait artist Alice Neel, who gained fame only late in life,  once said reflecting on her lifetime of quietly painting portraits “ I paint my time using the people as evidence.”
I have thought of this quote many times during my almost two year art project. I know I have painted my time. Through thick and thin.  I know I have painted 57 most generous people from all walks of life in Ventura -the people as evidence on This Face of Ventura Wall today.
I was not alone in this journey.
Each of the 57 sitters shared so generously with me and touched me deeply.  Each one holds a special place in my heart. Thank you.
There was a co-creator Sheldon Brown, publisher of the Ventura Breeze, who brought the personal stories of each sitter to life in each edition of his well-loved publication through the written word. The project would have been faceless without The Breeze and Sheldon’s considerable input, time and dedication. Thank  you to him and his wife Diane.
There was Bonnie Weigel, CEO and president of FOOD Share , a woman I really admire, and a FACE sitter, who mentored me through the project at times when I needed it most. And then got this show on the road here today through FOOD Share’s Art Share Program to raise hunger awareness through art partnerships.  I would not be standing in this room today without Bonnie. Thank you.
There was Lyn Fairly of the Lyn Fairly And Friends Radio Show who interviewed each face in her unique way adding to the depth of the project. Thank you.
There was Mark Hartley who allowed each sitter's sketch and their story to be displayed in his old bank building window on Main Street twice a month adding an extra element. Thank you.
There was the Ventura Executive Suites who hosted the halfway point of the project with a great show and displayed those halfway portraits for six months, also hosting some of the life sittings there. Thank you
There was my family, Paddy, Jessie and Rosie who have heard all about me painting my time using the people evidence, probably far more than they would ever have wished. Thank you.
Lastly, I have dedicated this show to my mentor Mr. Everett Raymond Kinstler, painter of seven American presidents and a virtual who’s who of America for over 60 years. He has indeed reflected a  lifetime of painting very famous people as evidence in a technically grand but most honest manner.
Ray Kinstler and his teachings, his confidence in me, his direction and love for people and the life painting skill set,  are in each and every one of these sketches you see today.
Lastly, the powerful exchange and unique connection between the portrait artist and sitter, sharing their times,  each other as evidence,  remains unchanged over the centuries.  The Face of Ventura is living proof. Thank you deeply.

Thanks to KADY TV for covering this event with this video of speeches. Thanks to OurVentura.Com for doing the same, video to come.

Thanks to Mark Tovar for this video of show images. Thanks to Ventura County Star for this piece. Photos David Yamamoto.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Off to the museum we go....

57 Faces of Ventura will join me tomorrow afternoon (in painted form at the very least) at the Museum of Ventura County in it's event pavilion.

Why don't you come too? Free admission, food, and song.

And a whole lot of fun in partnership with FOOD Share.

FOOD Share feeds the hungry - 74,000 mouths a month in Ventura County.

This poster is a fund raiser for them...purchase for $25, 

100 per cent of the proceeds to FOOD Share. 

email me

Paypal link coming tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lights, Camera Action...How to Paint A Portrait Demo On Film

Yesterday I painted Xerox Ambassador Mr.Peter Godinez, live, while being filmed over a three hour period.

How to do that? Keep it simple stupid. And make sure you request your lighting needs ahead of time. Even in a well-lit film studio, a portrait artist needs to see form.

The Ventura County Star came to do a pic for the paper toward the end so that was a double whammy. Better have something half decent to show or else. Pheweeeeee.

Just stick to the basics. Don't try for a Rembrandt if you know what I mean. And wear black.

Charming conversation while painting Mr. Godinez.  Hope I sounded somewhat co-herent while painting his fine face.  He and Xerox are very kindly donating the brochures for my show on Sunday.

The Ventura County Museum. The Face of Ventura By Johanna Spinks, 2 to 5, admission free, food wine and song.

Friday, August 17, 2012

My Show Hits The Ojai Valley News

Face of Ventura By Johanna Spinks
Poster for sale at show

Thanks to the Ojai Valley News for covering my upcoming show, "The Face of Ventura By Johanna Spinks", August 26th, at the Matha K. Smith Pavilion, The Ventura County Museum.

Thanks also to FOOD Share for partnering with me on this event.

This 18 x 24 poster is available for purchase at event, a portion going to FOOD Share: email me to order $25

visit The Face of Ventura website: www.the

FOOD Share feeds 74,000 hungry mouths each month in Ventura County.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How To Paint Details...

It is all in the details, don't you think?  This is a close-up of a portrait I painted in Sweden two weeks ago on a pilgrirmage to Anders Zorn Land with Jeremy Lipking and friends.
I was assisting Jeremy Lipking. Lucky for me. He is pure gold.

If you want more details about this trip, seeing a few of my sketches and musings. post your comments here.

Otherwise, I am as good as gold...

Monday, August 13, 2012

How to put the finishing touches on a portrait...

After a few days rest from my sketch, I was not happy with it. It needed some finishing touches. A sharpening here and there, most of all some stronger drawing.

I decided to be bold. Here's how I tweaked it...

Sharpened the jaw line up to the ear and the underplane of said jaw.

Sharpened the glow on the forehead.

Sharpened the shape of the forehead meeting the hairline.

Strengthened the shadow side of the nose. Her beautiful aqualine nose so important to who she is...

Placed the ear slightly more back

Placed some lovely darks in those deep eye sockets with a swirl of the brush leaving the stroke to show...that sealed the deal for me!

Added more hair to the back of the head...more viridian highlights...

Added some more sizzle to the fabric, pinks and greens, with a palette knife.

I think I am happy now.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Portrait Painted From Inside Out.

I was asked if I would post more 'portraits done in stages", starting with an eye, getting that correct before moving on, considering value, shape, edges, and color temperature as you go.

So here is another one. My demo at The California Art Institute this week.