I was never worried about getting sitters when I first began thinking about this series. That’s because we Puerto Ricans are a social and gregarious people. Each of us has more than a thousand friends on Facebook. We do everything as part of a group. When we are hospitalized, we get dozens of visitors every day. So I was pretty sure my friends would help me recruit sitters. Then I got here and there were days I was not so sure because everyone of working age was well, working. Because even retired people were doing gigs. Because they
were getting ready to greet family coming from the US during the holidays. Because they were afraid of sitting still for 3-4 hours. But my friends and family kept giving me names and now I have a full schedule.
Back in California I do not work like this. I have a studio and take the sitter there, where no one can distract them. After their session is over, I take a photo of the painting and look at it many times. Usually by the evening I have identified things I need to fix, and I do, over the next few days. If something bothers me but I do not know what it is, I look at the painting until I figure it out. I really, really think about the background.
Here I don’t have the luxury of time to revise, so I have been “finishing” the painting as much as possible, taking a photo of it, identifying things I need to improve, and filing that knowledge away until I can get to them. It is driving me crazy but I will have to be disciplined enough to wait because I simply don’t have the time or proper space to revise. All of this to say, none of these paintings are completely finished. They are 97% there though.
There is something I have been enjoying, and that is to just paint. While the logistics of painting models spread all over the metropolitan area are daunting, I am away from home and all of its distractions and I can focus on getting these paintings done.