June 17th, 2005



Moira Hahn is an artist I have come to admire. Recently, I painted her portrait.


Moira, I started with three photos of you, from different points in your life.

The monocular, the dog and another of you at a recent art showing (though I can't seem to locate that one on the web right now).


I assembled these, clockwise around each other into a layout in photoshop, rendered each image about 50% transparent, and then applied the Mosaic filter to pixelate the whole thing into squares of color, which I printed out and lined off into a grid.

I transferred the grid to my larger piece of bristol board and used this to lay down the basic pattern of colors in acrylics. Of the three photographs, the one of you with your dog is the only one that ended up being clearly legible. The space along the left edge of the portrait seemed to congeal into a sort of American flag, so I went with it as a rough compositional element.

For some years now I have been interested in creating the impression of multiple picture planes that intersect and/or effect each other in interesting ways. When I started this portrait I knew I wanted to create a background from some combination of the three photos and then do a freehand rendition of one of your ukiyo-e -style paintings as the top layer. In this case, the recombinated pieces of you are escaping from the top of your painting's head.

For John Ashcroft Ethics Explosion (right), it was an unholy amalgamation of Mr. Ashcroft and Uncle Sam.


John Ashcroft Ethics Explosion V.1
2003. Spray paint and acrylic on canvas
18 x 24 in.

2005. Acrylic on paper
11 x 14 in.


Originally I intended to frame this before I sent it, but after some consideration I thought the recipient might like to decide how it was displayed for herself. I did not trim the paper down to image size, and unfortunately this picture is horrible, making the colors look rather washed out.

I hope she likes the portrait! See Moira's take on the picture at her journal, here: sheppardzo_14