I love the art of the portrait. Through painting and sketching my favorite artists, typically in the music industry, I catch a glimpse of peace.
When I am feeling inspired I find that creating art through personal ideas is exciting and even euphoric, but when my mind is clouded and I cannot generate original images in my head I turn to portraits. I’ve found, having more than one mental disorder obstacle in my life, that there is usually a time and place to face the idiosyncratic demons that dwell in my psyche. Depression, for one, can catalyze breathtaking art when the moment is right, but confronting depression through art is inopportune when I do not have the energy or mental capacity to face the darkness within. Times like this are sublime for shifting my aesthetic towards portrait painting and drawing. The power of portraits, at least from my experience, comes from the fact that I do not have to do much thinking. It’s very instinctual and intuitive. For this reason I am able to feel a sort of harmony with the plane that my consciousness permeates.
Getting lost in the use of your hand as you mindlessly translate a photograph on a screen into a portrait on a canvas is the type of therapeutic my redundant brain craves. There is something deeply meditative about studying an image of another human being, whom you admire and connect with on an artistic level, and merging their meaningful archetype in your mind with your own language of brush strokes or pencil markings. Portrait-making sends me in a zone of consciousness so powerful that I genuinely do not feel the weight of time. My perception is blissfully numb to the minutes, hours, even days that pass by while I lose my ego in acrylic shapes. The pain of depression or the edge of anxiety is muted. It still inhabits my subconscious, but the radio that is my brain doesn’t transmit these signals. All I can perceive is this timeless unity of a beloved image and my instinctive hands replicating the image with my own signature touches.
For more portraits by Valerie Parente check out the Portrait Gallery !
– Valerie Parente (3-9-2018)