About Me

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Watercolor portraits that explore the depths of thought & feeling through realism & abstraction.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Q:  Where do you come up with your ideas?

A:   I decided on the subject for my art when I realized not what I thought made art important, or beautiful, but what actually moved me.  While exploring the contemporary art scene I'm always drawn to portraits of women, they speak the loudest to me.   "Female" is a subject I find fascinating- in a strange, disturbing, beautiful & impossible way. I've always been interested in beauty standards- for anything- furniture, architecture, art, machines, clothing- but what's most annoying are the standards for a woman's face.  I want a broader conversation about women's beauty, so I set out trying to broaden it.

Q: Watercolor is so difficult!  What made you choose to work with it?

A:  I got a postcard from the Art Center College in 2010, & the minute I saw it I knew I had found my inspiration. The image hypnotized me- the way the fluidity of the color translates energy & movement, Ive been obsessed ever since.  I had received lessons in Sumi-e both in High School & College, but that was my only formal introduction to water media.  I mention Sumi-e because the ink is very similar to watercolor in the way it behaves, and the practice of the art form felt natural to me; It's instinctual to work with.  I translated my experiences with ink to watercolor, taking a step further to experiment with  wildness & color.

Q:  How long does each painting take to create?

A:  Sometimes days, sometimes weeks, the average is two weeks per painting.  My first love was drawing so thats how each painting begins. I start a painting right side up, & finish it upside down.

Q:  Where do you find your models?

A: I reference images related to beauty & fashion , as well as people I've met while exhibiting my work.  I paint in private, so the internet is an integral tool in my process, I like to work alone painting from photographs.

Q:  Why defectivebarbie?

A:  It was my first screen name online, I came up with it as a teenager.  defectivebarbie has always been my online identity.  I like the duality of perfection & flaw, because I think real beauty hides in the gray area where you might least expect it, so defectivebarbie became my art. Sometimes it creates problems when I try to exhibit my work, I've received criticism for abandoning a first & last name.

Q:  Why do some of your portraits not show their eyes?

A: At first eyes were the focal point of every painting I made, taking the expression "windows to the soul" very literally.  Eyes are an important element of a portrait, whether they are visible or not, which was something I hadn't thought about before.  Portraits are very personal, there's an intimacy thats unique to a face, & how that face is portrayed determines how people view them.  I've been studying my audience, observing how deeply they connect with my work in relation to the eyes of my paintings.  The more my paintings evolve, the deeper that connection gets, as a creator I've placed myself (inadvertently) between the eyes of the painting & of the viewer.

If there are any other questions you would like to have answered leave them in a comment & I will be sure to answer it.

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