The art of Serendipity.
Nadine Robbins paints portraits from her own photography shoots. This is a common practice since the invention of the camera. The camera obscura may have been used to create masterpieces as far back as Vermeer.
Nadine uses her photography to capture that “one” painting. The one that will be chosen to be immortalized in oil. In a recent shoot last year she photographed a local model Kaitlin Naylor who was in the nude.
Nadine not only set-up the shoot for that “one” painting but she had also been asked by me for a cover of PoetsArtists where Nin Andrews was editing an Erotica Issue also known as the Chanticleer edition. I did not feel comfortable calling it Erotica because that in itself brings all sort of implications when publishing poetry and art. I am not sure if that is the reason why she asked Kaitlin to hold up ostrich eggs or if by chance it was already one of the props she had in the studio where she photo shoot took place. Maybe she can answer that later in the comments.
During the shoot, Kaitlin took a break and had lunch. McDonald’s must have been near by beccause Nadine also captured Kaitlin eating her lunch. Nadine decided to paint Kaitlin eating french fries. Now two paintings evolved from the same photo shoot. The painting of Kaitlin eating fries later was chosen by John Seed for his article in the Huffington Post, 10 Most Memorable Paintings of 2013. The painting of Kaitlin holding up the ostrich eggs made it to the cover of the August 2013 issue of PA and the painting of Kaitlin eating lunch later made it to the cover of a collection of essays written for the Huffington Post by John Seed.
“I decided to photograph Kaitlin holding ostrich eggs to play with the concept of the female anatomy being outside of Kaitlin’s body as opposed to just a nude. A tribute of sort to women with a slightly different angle. I like adding props and although many times they don’t work, this time they did and the concept worked. Plan A didn’t go awry.
Unbeknownst to either of us, plan B came upon by accident. It was one of those steamy summer days. The warehouse where we were shooting was sizzling and her flame-colored hair was frizzing wildly. Postponing for a cooler day wasn’t an option, so I took a run to the local golden arches for more water. On a lark, I ordered a happy meal. I soon learned that Kaitlin, enviously thin, loved her fries. The misery of the heat and humidity evaporated as she savored the salty spuds. And all my preconceived ideas about what I wanted to capture with Kaitlin also evaporated as we went with the moment prompted by an opportune treat.
The images that came out of the shoot were fantastic and I am still using them for new paintings a few years later. Kaitlin is a fabulous model. Between posed shots, we talk and laugh and I’m always shooting. One of the shots is going to be a life-size painting of Kaitlin that I think will be the best one yet.”
The painting of Kaitlin eating french fries has lead to a series of other portraits which will be shown next year at the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago. A yearly art show I co-curate with Sergio Gomez. I will not give too much away for the show but will say that one of the portraits will be of Matthew Hittinger a well known poet also from New York and the other of Howard Tullman, the entrepreneur of entrepreneurs from Chicago. The photo shoot of Howard Tullman took place at the 1871 Building at the Merchandise Mart where Howard is heading new digital startup companies and when Nadine was visiting Chicago for this year’s show at the Zhou B Art Center. I saw the photos of these shoots and I am looking forward to the paintings.