On June 1, 2017, I began a 30 days of charcoal portraiture project, drawing one portrait per day for the month of June, with the focus on capturing aspects of the divine feminine through my portraits. My initial intent with this project was to institute a daily sketching practice to improve my drawing skills, rather than to create a body of work I would share with the world. I chose to sketch with charcoal, a medium I had little experience with, as a way of ensuring my sketches stayed loose and expressive. And I decided to limit myself to drawing for about an hour per day to make sure I didn't get caught up in perfectionism.
By the end of the month of June, I realized there were forty qualities I wanted to explore through this project. So I added ten more portraits to the ones completed during my 30 days of charcoal project.
Throughout the course of this project, my focus was on capturing emotion in the portraits. Time and time again, the feedback I received from those following this project on social media related to the emotions these portraits evoked in viewers. And of course, my own emotional state on any given day made its way into the portrait as well.
As I continued this month-long project, these portraits seemed to take on a life of their own and I realized they were perfect for an oracle deck. I invited writer and friend Megan Matthews to collaborate with me on the project and the Faces of the Divine Feminine Oracle was born. You can read more about the oracle here.
Looking back, I realize I was called to explore the divine feminine through portraiture because of a troubling sense of imbalance within myself and in the world. My desire to understand and cultivate divine feminine energy began building in the fall of 2016 and I spent the early part of 2017 exploring this energy through reading, meditation, and journaling, and then finally, through art-making. I am fascinated by the ways in which personal experiences are often reflected in larger systems. Since I began this project in June 2017, we have witnessed both the powerful social media campaign #metoo and the series of revelations of abuses of power by men in the entertainment industry. It seems to me that we as a society are feeling this call for more justice, more equality, more balance, and more love. You can view this project in its entirety in my portfolio.