WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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profile, I knew only her urban landscape work. "I have an idea," she said. "I've begun painting portraits. What if I paint your portrait, and you write about it?" With that irresistible invitation to gain an insider's look into the artis- tic process, from start to finish as an observer and a subject, we began. Wiecha came to my home with her sketchbook, Faber Castell pas- tel pencils, and camera. "Wear a solid color," she had written in an email, "and no makeup." No makeup — that was easy. I reread her note just as she drove up, and quickly changed out of my patterned sweater into a heathered navy cashmere. First, Wiecha placed me near several windows to check whether the natural light would be too bright, creating dark shadows, or too dim, pro- viding not enough contrast. She took some pho- tos. I began to be a bit self-conscious: should I smile or not? Just how clearly will those wrinkles show up? Wiecha laughed. I didn't have to smile, and as for the signs of aging, "I don't even know how to paint wrinkles," she said. "I don't think it's neces- sary, and it's distracting." The photographs help her assess the paint- ing's composition — not only the pose, but other elements that might work toward the design. She considered the dining room's floral wallpaper, recalling the paisley pattern that makes Sargent's Mrs. Gardner practically vibrate off the canvas. "The first thing is getting the composition for the photo," she explained. "It's not just a snap- shot. It's a very integral part of a painting— choosing the lighting, finding an acceptable back ground, and planning a photo with the intent of painting it." Then, she sketched my face, trying to learn where my eyes connect with my nose, and just how my hand joins my cheek as I rest against it. We had one more sketching session before she began painting, followed by a studio visit to check the drawing's accuracy and to match paint to my skin color. At the studio, I was struck by the light from the three huge windows, the rows of sketches and paintings, brush-filled jars, and the pungent odor of oil paints. Then I noticed the multiple images of me on display: Lisa 170 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 7 artist profile "an insider's look into the artistic process"

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