Navaho Boy from Edward Curtis Photograph

navahoboy
When inspiration is hard to find, I can always go back to portraits. And if no one I know is clamoring for their portrait to be commissioned, I can always reach back into the archives of faces that are immortalized by artists like Edward Curtis.

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28 – Harriet Tubman

harriettubmanFor my last daily face, I decided to go back to the historical, where I started. I had hoped to work on making more pretty faces, but instead, life threw me a real curve ball and I didn’t have time or energy to do extras, and had to rely on my family for most of the modeling, total realism.
This has been a fun exercise,but I think that the painting a day exercise was more fun. More than once I did not paint something because I had to do a face instead.
Thanks everyone who followed me down this road this month, it has been an adventure!

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Day 13 – Amalie Emmy Noether – mother of algebra

noether
Challenged by the wonderful series of upside down drawings done by Coreopsis, I decided to try it with Emmy Noether. I had the reference photo and my sketch pad upside down. It doesn’t look as closely like her as I would like, but it was an interesting exercise. Timid about drawing? You should try this…

Emmy was an amazing woman. A Jewish woman born in Germany at a time where women were denied many of the rights men had, she ended up teaching math without pay for seven years. She was invited to teach at a prestigious university after that, where some influential men in the philosophy department objected, so she taught under another man’s name. She escaped Nazi Germany in 1933. She died 2 years later from surgery on an ovarian cyst. She was 53 years old.
She revolutionized Algebra, and even has her own theorem. Who says girls can’t do math!

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Day 11 – Lady Anne Blunt

11annebluntAs I continued to explore the family tree of Lord Byron, I found a familiar name. Of course, I had forgotten why it was familiar, but it didn’t take too much investigation to discover. Lady Anne Blunt was one of the British founders of the modern Arabian horse breed! Of course she imported these animals from the desert of Saudia Arabia, but she is one of the most important people in post-Bedouin times. She founded the Crabbet stud, which is still famous among Arabian horse enthusiasts today. A huge percentage of modern Arabian horses are descended from her stock. And Lady Blunt herself is of course, the granddaughter of Lord Byron!

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Day 9.5 – The Countess of Lovelace

9pt5adaWhat a romantic name! Unfortunately, her life was less so. This is Ada Lovelace, AKA Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, Lord Byron’s only legitimate child. She never knew her father, wasn’t even allowed to see his likeness until she was 21, he died when she was 8 years old. She was famous in her own way. Even though she died of uterine cancer (and bloodletting) when she was only 36 years old, she managed to write what is known as the first computer program! After helping translate one of Charles Babbage’s lectures into English she worked with him and wrote some extensive notes, which were then published. Babbage was impressed by Lovelace’s intellect and analytic skills and called her The Enchantress of Numbers.

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