This is a painting of Joan Didion that I started, and finished today.
Choosing this image was easy. I love the shadow, and sternness that can be viewed in the photograph.
As I finished up the painting, my boyfriend leaned over my shoulder only to exclaim that, “it looks like she’s just robbed a bank.” Now, of course she hasn’t, but if she ever would it would probably be in those sunglasses.
Now to the actual drawing & painting.
I had started the drawing on watercolour paper, only planning for it to be a draft. I had the canvas primed and everything!
After awhile, I started getting that feeling I get when I like a piece. Both anxiety, and satisfaction began to swell. And so, I decided to continue with the piece as an actual piece.
It took considerable thought as to what I should have in the background. I almost painted flowers, something native to California. But as you can see, she doesn’t really appear to be a “flowery’ person. She’s no Ginsberg.
Stalling, I painted the background yellow. Then I took the plunge, and conservatively splattered red and black watercolour. It ended up looking rather “badass;” it goes well with her expression.
Who is Joan Didion?
I first discovered Didion when a few friends recommended her. After reading Slouching Towards Bethlehem, I found myself intrigued by her style, and subject matter.
For those who don’t know, Didion is a writer celebrated for her literary journalism. Slouching Towards Bethlehem is a collection of essays centered around Didion’s experience during the 1960s. In one essay readers are allowed a new, and unfamiliar glimpse into Haight-Ashbury.
On a last note.