In my street art portraits, I draw people I know, people in my social media circle, people who draw me in (pardon the pun), people who inspire me.
I have been inspired by “Rochelle” (my local barista) for quite a while now. She was so gracious to accept my invitation to be photographed for reference shots. The first time I saw her, I knew I needed to draw her!
We did not anticipate the power of the shoot, though. As I explained to Rochelle what the photos are being used for, a dialogue opened up between us- a dialogue that can only be called powerful. The honesty and transparency of the moment moved everyone in the room and I am truly grateful for Rochelle’s fearlessness in allowing us to hear her incredible story of overcoming obstacles and to document her beauty. Her future is indeed bright.
What my streetart portraits are showing me time and again is the power of the portrait itself in opening dialogue and trust. The reaction people have to being drawn is what intrigues me the most.
In Rochelle, I am exploring the emotions that are exuded in the moment of transparency.
Each of us has an inner child of the past living within us. Those who needed to build no walls have access to that child’s creativity and spontaneity. Those who had to leave this crucial core behind can tear down the walls, see what the child needed but didn’t have, and begin to provide it now. The more we do this, the more we know that we are worth it. – Gloria Steinem
The following are samples of photos taken by my brother, Fred Thorsen. Glorious.
I cannot put words down for what was happening to me spiritually, emotionally, or mentally…..one of the most moving moments of my life. – Rochelle
I cannot wait to continue drawing Rochelle.
I will be presenting her portraits as part of an interactive art corner at INSPIRE: An evening of bring body, mind and spirit together at the Vancouver Art Gallery on September 14, 2012. I will start the portraits and attendees will finish them!
See more about our wheatpaste art: