When I set up my painting studio in the storefront window at 356 Marcus Garvey back in September 2012, I wasn’t sure how things would go. I didn’t know whether I would feel comfortable painting essentially in a fishbowl, with the people passing in the street able to look in and see what I was working on. Would I be distracted? Would people be interested or not? Would they come into the store? What would their reaction be?
I first came up with the idea because I wanted to be able to paint portraits of the people that I see around me every day in my neighborhood. I wanted to work from life, not from photographs, and I wanted to get to know something about the person I was painting, since I think a great portrait communicates a lot more than just what a person looks like. I also wanted to be able to talk to people about the work, to bring art into people’s daily lives.