Artist Marsha Hammel is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of these Postmodern Portraiture . To see Marsha’s body of work click on any photograph.
The oil painting of a vase of daffodils was boring despite vibrant yellows, greens and blues laid down in vigorous brushstrokes. Boring. I hated it. Scrubbing it out gave me great pleasure. What I needed was an inspirational model, I thought.
Just then the ring of the doorbell announced a visitor to my studio….”Say, Kalinda, do you have an hour to spare right now? I really need a model to help bring this canvas to life.” “Sure.” She says, settling into an armchair. ” Can you make me thin?” ” No, I like your round face…it is a perfect balance with the roundness of your curly hair.” I started drawing in big circular motions with a black oil pastel right over the lumpy remains of flower petals.
Thus in an afternoon one of my best paintings ever was created.
Over the past thirty years as a working artist I have painted hundreds of figurative compositions, with most of them based on the features of real people. It seemed natural to have friends pose for drawings that were used to create the stylized images that are my hallmark.
It wasn’t until I was asked to paint a woman holding her little dog (“I don’t care if the picture looks like me, but I want the dog to really look like Scamper.”) thus the first of the Post Modern Portraiture sessions took off.
Since then I have made oil paintings of entire families, parents, children and pets on large scale canvases; a woman and her beloved 1951 black and yellow Bentley; girls with their “sleeve dogs” and radiant newly pregnant women reclining like goddesses in waiting.
In every face and every figure there is beauty that cannot be found in a mirror or in a photograph.
Just as the poet can use everyday words to create exquisite poetry, so too the painter can use the lines and forms that make up a person’s appearance to create visual poetry…this is the essence of what I call Post Modern Portraiture.
By Marsha Hammel