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Self Portrait - Remembering Roy
I took this from a photograph, and drew a minimal outline on the 20 x 30 cm paper using a grid transfer system. Using acrylic inks with a cloth, I blocked in the main colours and features over several layers. I added a little collage from my hand made papers. I then added mostly fluid acrylics for the detailed finish, using small brushes where needed, and a white Gelly Roll pen.
Linda Chaves ~ Story
I was born in London and grew up in the suburbs – ambling my way through the sixties hippy years and the ups and downs of life through the next few decades. I think of myself as being lucky enough, not only to have discovered that I have two true vocations, but even luckier that I have been able to follow both of these destinies at the right time in life. From the moment I walked into a Primary School classroom, I knew that this was why I was on this earth. I loved every minute of being a teacher, all of it. I undertook a year’s teaching post in Portugal in 1979, and have lived there almost ever since. I love it there – the country and the people are so alive and sunny, and I have always liked being a little different, a little unusual, I suppose.
After many relationship disasters, I finally met the man who would become the love of my life in 1993. I had finally found happiness and stability in my personal life as I had always had in my professional life. When he died in 2009, I was bereft. It was also a turning point as I retired the same year, but my right-brained life of logic and straightforwardness gave me no clues as to how to cope without my soul mate.
Then a miracle happened. Roy’s death had led me to realize that our lives are precious, fleeting and unpredictable. Dreams must be attended to, chances need to be seized, and risks taken. Something inside me shifted, a new feeling, a need to express myself, coupled with a need to see the world. I bought my first airline ticket and took off. Months in India and the deserts of the SW USA have left an indelible impression on me. In four years I haven’t stopped – and there is still a lot of the world to see. I felt a new desire to record all this, to share all my vivid, stunning experiences in some way. I started journaling, both visual journaling and travel journaling. A new vocation, a new passion? Not quite yet. For, from these beginnings, I found that it was the art element that I was enjoying. Me! I had never been creative! I hadn’t had an art lesson since I was ten…this was not possible! I am still convinced I have no imagination! But, the drive to paint and record grew and grew, and I began to paint all that was in my head – images, people, ideas, places in strong vivid saturated colours – I call it “painting from the inside out’, hopefully with heart and soul, with all my personality. I even got a punk haircut with pink streaks! I now paint every day, and surround myself with colour. I do workshops, and have learnt a great deal, but my work is so much better when I paint what is in my head, and from my intuition, without following any trend or expectation.
Now, at 66, I am on the brink of even more ventures – I am holding painting workshops at my home in Portugal, and hopefully in India in the future. I have plans for online workshops teaching my techniques with colour and my ‘secret collage’ work. From my grief came this second life and another ‘me’, and the courage to follow new dreams. Therein lies the joy of life and the result of love.
Linda Chaves email@example.com
“I am utterly addicted to organizing, a super organizer. From a visual point of view, that is. If stuff is tucked away in a drawer out of sight, never mind, though the drawer itself must be labelled!
I spend many many happy hours in my studio arranging my paints and all my other materials in as many different ways as possible - all together by colour, split into media, arranged by tone (the latest). This is, of-course, a procrastination tactic, too, for those days when it is hard to get down to proper work! But it keeps me happy.
Stop by the Altered Pages blog tomorrow to see more of Linda Chaves's amazing art!!!