2015 will be the third year of working on my newest portfolio of Water Portraits and to date unseen works. It has been slow going... but it would be misleading to say it only took me three years to arrive at this point. I've not been one of the lucky ones who had the opportunity to study 4-5 years in an academic setting but this doesn't mean I haven't been studying. I took classes along the way, starting with a workshop with Mary Ekroos , Daniel Greene back in the 80s somewhere, then Raymond Kinstler and then Sam Adoquei's Academic Atelier at the National Academy in the 90s while I continued actually earning a living with landscape /seascape plein air paintings. Through all of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune I kept exploring until all the puzzle pieces began to fit. My final leg of the artistic journey will be the combination of what I have been painting, water, with something I have only touched upon until now, portraiture.
I have been painting people all along, friends posed for me while I was on location and I've painted and sold most of those as I went. Another friend taught me a great deal about Waterhouse, Leighton and Rossetti with their dreamy quality in classical realism and Flaming June (definitely one of my top three all time painting) and I started to leave the ground with Mucha, Lalique and Maxfield Parrish. I'm getting closer to what I want to create at this point and I'm beginning to like what I see. I like to get a thrill from painting and those things that thrill me most are painting movement in water and it's interaction with light and color on the subject, this is what I wanted to incorporate into a Chapin Water Portraits
So I have followed Sargent's advice, following the path for 35 years of exploring and painting everything else first and finally portraits. My kind of portrait, with water untethering the model from the restraints of reality and gravity, developing the interaction with line and color and dreaming in reality.The models and I experimented, to create and depict my ideas and together we've started the creative process and exploration of the subject. Can't wait to see how this evolves. This is the beginning of my project, you can see the work as it develops and we'll see where it will go from here as I begin to compile the works on my website in my newest category: Water Portraits: In, On and Around Water by Deborah Chapin see: https://gallery.deborahchapin.com/portfolio_category/water-portraits-figurative-by-deborah-chapin/ At the same time I'll be developing a Book of Water which you can see develop here: https://gallery.deborahchapin.com/portfolio_category/book-of-water/
For those who still like to be tethered to the beach fear not, it is still in the mix, I am still working on those as well and still love doing them. The figure en plein air. There are many facets to an artist's career and the artist must be an explorer.