January is named after Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings, life and death, time, doorways and duality. He is depicted with two faces as he looks to the future and to the past, what was and what is to come.
Portrait Artist of the Month (PAOTM)
Portrait Artist of the Week is not on at the moment so we will return to a monthly portrait project. Thinking of Janus and looking back over 2020, here are a few famous people no longer with us…
Actors Sir Sean Connery, Chadwick Boseman, Dame Barbara Windsor, Dame Olivia de Havilland, Honor Blackman and designer Kenzō Takada. Or you could draw an image of Janus himself.
Paint a portrait of one or more of them young or old, as themselves or as a character they portrayed, of which there are many. Any medium, any size, you have a whole month to create an image and send a photo of your portrait to Tracy by the end of January.
In the Bleak Midwinter
January is usually the coldest month with the harshest weather of snow and frosts covering our urban landscape and the countryside. Paint a landscape of snow in daylight or by moonlight, sheep grazing in frosty fields, the view of your garden covered in hoar frost, snowdrops peaking above the soil, birds feeding at peanuts, an image from a skiing holiday, a view of snow capped mountains or the view from the very top etc.
There are many poems and words written about this time of year so be inspired to paint by the following…
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind may moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
Christina Rosetti 1872
“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says ‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.’” Lewis Carroll 1871
Deep lies the snow upon the earth,
But all the sky is ringing
With joyous song, and all night long
The stars shall dance, with singing.
Eugene Field, written late 19th C, published 1912.
Do Your Own Thing (DYOT)
You can, of course, paint anything you want to! If you belong to another art group and you’re painting their subject suggestions, that’s fine, it’s good to see what you get up to.
Send the photos of your drawings and paintings to Tracy by email, text, WhatsApp or Messenger with info about the subject, medium, paper used, time taken etc and your paintings can be posted here on the blog.