artwork

Lovely Ladies

I started making these ladies last year around this time and still feel super full-steam-ahead about it. I'm so smitten with the process of discovering each lady, pushing the possibilities of materials I'm using and the different textures I can achieve with them, challenging expectations on cultural ideas of women and gender & even the physical aspects of the face. I love how each lady takes on her own personality and story without my intentional interference. Lately I'm really seeing the possibility for them to act as a means of connection, an invitation to important conversations. Letting that stew and take form in good time.

Laura Johnston Amanda 6x7" mixed media on paper 2017

Laura Johnston
Amanda
6x7" mixed media on paper
2017

Laura Johnston Felicia 3x4" mixed media on paper 2017

Laura Johnston
Felicia
3x4" mixed media on paper
2017

Laura Johnston Bea 3x4" mixed media on paper 2017

Laura Johnston
Bea
3x4" mixed media on paper
2017

Laura Johnston Ross 3x4" mixed media on paper 2017

Laura Johnston
Ross
3x4" mixed media on paper
2017

Laura Johnston Freya 3x3" mixed media on paper 2017

Laura Johnston
Freya
3x3" mixed media on paper
2017

Laura Johnston David 6x7.5" mixed media on paper 2017

Laura Johnston
David
6x7.5" mixed media on paper
2017

I have made over 100 Lovely Ladies to this point, and most recently have started a book of Lovely Ladies - similar to my 365 project a couple of years ago. This isn't intended as a daily project, but I loved the idea of having a book full of (68) Lovely Ladies to flip through. I've got my loose-paper ladies in portfolios, so it's a similar effect. I know each of their names by heart. I am proud of them.

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There is a lot to say about these ladies - I am immersed in making them, reflecting, writing, trying to put words to where I'm coming from. I have a lot to share and will be doing so more often here, but if you'd like to see even more, pop over to Instagram where I am sharing on the regular!

The Lost Girls 6-10

Last Monday I shared the first half of my Lost Girls subseries in my 365 sketchbook, and over the following few days I finished the set with girls 6-10.

Lutria, an unusual 6'4 princess with a hand for a pet.

Lutria, an unusual 6'4 princess with a hand for a pet.

Today's Lost Girl is Eva - she and her snake tell fortunes in countries that have 5 letters.

Today's Lost Girl is Eva - she and her snake tell fortunes in countries that have 5 letters.

"Uma", a warrior full of secrets and a wicked collection of earrings who doesn't like to get her feet wet. Practicing drawing a profile from memory and made some good feats on that today.

"Uma", a warrior full of secrets and a wicked collection of earrings who doesn't like to get her feet wet. Practicing drawing a profile from memory and made some good feats on that today.

Lost girl Zabba and her frog. "Pineapple frog isn't so sure about this".

Lost girl Zabba and her frog. "Pineapple frog isn't so sure about this".

The 10th and final Lost Girl is Es. She is a master of the sea who enjoys a swim with the dolphins or a good coloring book with a nice cup of tea. 🐬🌊

The 10th and final Lost Girl is Es. She is a master of the sea who enjoys a swim with the dolphins or a good coloring book with a nice cup of tea. 🐬🌊

I'm feeling a lot more comfortable in my sketchbook in the past few days. I still feel awkward about limiting myself (100 days of paynes gray), but at the same time I enjoy the challenge to keep it fresh and interesting. There are so many things one can do with the theme of a color. Just have to think outside the box.

When I finished the girls my idea was to paint a solid block of paynes gray with acrylic and then use whites of sorts to create something on top of it. Unintentionally, a lost boy emerged, so I've decided to spend the next 10 days creating Lost Boys to go with the Lost Girls. I like that they are almost inverted, and that the guys actually have some semblance of hair, whereas the girls are all bald.

Day 115. Unintentional, but today Lost Boy Ricardo came by for some air time, too. He's a wicked trumpeter who is getting really fed up with constantly misplacing things lately. His favorite food is cornbread. Acrylic, white charcoal, and white gel pen.

Day 115. Unintentional, but today Lost Boy Ricardo came by for some air time, too. He's a wicked trumpeter who is getting really fed up with constantly misplacing things lately. His favorite food is cornbread. Acrylic, white charcoal, and white gel pen.

Day 116. Well I suppose now I can't make 10 lost girls and not 10 lost boys. Here is Mickey. He likes to garden.

Day 116. Well I suppose now I can't make 10 lost girls and not 10 lost boys. Here is Mickey. He likes to garden.

I have to admit, The Lost Boys are flowing a bit easier than the girls were. I'm glad for something to be more free-flowing again. It will be interesting at the end of the year to see the ebb and flow of energy and inspiration throughout the project.