There is nothing more thrilling than finding another woman I’m excited to make pictures of!
I met Shakrah at a Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin earlier this year, and immediately did my weird thing of being like “Hi total stranger, can I paint your picture?”.
She moved here from San Francisco a couple years ago, and has also lived in New York and Amsterdam.
She is a woman of many talents, including singing 20s and 30s jazz. She has an absolute treasury of gorgeous outfits she has created.
As you all know, an outfit treasury and the costume styling cognizance that goes with is very precious to me in a model!
You can see her singing in one of her marvelous outfits below, and hear her band The Cat’s Meow on bandcamp here.
When Shakrah arrived with her incredible emerald outfit for a planned pastel portrait, I knew I had to commit to the pastels.
Her outfit creation deserves full color. I already had a set of colored pastels in my Amazon cart and had added a bunch of pan pastels to my German Amazon art supplies wishlist. But I had been hesitating.
My childhood dislike of “dust sticks”, my concern that pastels would be…pastel, rather than the dramatic jewel tones and Manet-level darks I like, my fear of working with color and my concerns about my ability to manage color…
all those factors kept me using just black, grey, dark red and umber all year. Here’s what’s left of the sticks I bought early this year! So I’m gonna get some colored pastels and Shakrah and I will reconvene next week.
My US Amazon art supplies wish list is here, I think all the sellers ship to Germany! My 51st birthday is January 8 🙂
*why do you mostly paint women, Suz?
Men are too easy – women’s faces are much harder to capture.
Women’s stories and identities are most important to me in terms of the kind of creative legacy I want to leave.
I value making new woman friends enormously and painting a portrait of a woman I meet who I admire is a great way to get to know new people.
Men are somewhat less likely to have the kind of carefully crafted, creative performative identity (and attire to support it) that interests me.