On Thursday night, March 1st, I attended the opening of my very first art show! So exciting!! I have the honor to be one of 13 artists to exhibit work at the Critical Content Art Initiative at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood from March until August. What an honor to be featured among so many talented and creative people! ♡
My brand new artwork for this exhibit is a series of six monochromatic acrylic portraits on 24”x36” canvases. These portraits are inspired by the classic Hollywood beauties and iconic women Vivien Leigh, Katharine Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Greta Garbo, Bette Davis and Ingrid Bergman. Strong women, with unique personalities and creative talent, who were able to evoke emotion with a simple glance. Their eyes could not be more different, yet each one could pierce the silver screen with a unique and identifiable well placed look.
When I started thinking about what I wanted to bring to this exhibit, I knew I wanted to create a series of simple and minimal monochrome paintings. The glamour and style of the Hollywood Golden Age have always been a powerful influence for me, especially the monochromatic feel of black and white movies.
While I was growing up in Eastern Europe, behind the dreaded 'iron curtain', my access to movies was pretty much limited to old classics - we didn't even own a color tv! Our photos were mostly black and white too, because color film was too expensive and hard to come by. Our entire life was lived in shades of grey, in more ways than one. Even though I grew up decades later, in many ways I was more connected to the 40's and 50's and to that aesthetic focused on shape, values and contrast more than color. Can you imagine the colorful 80's in black and white? I mean, the 80's! There was no color explosion for me during that time, that's for sure, and even as a kid I was drawn to grey, much to my mother's frustration :-)
Of the six portraits I painted, I try not to play favorites, but Vivien Leigh is up there for me. With a simple raising of an eyebrow, she made Scarlett O'Hara an iconic and fierce character - her famous last line in 'Gone With The Wind', 'After all, tomorrow is another day' is filled with both sheer determination and hope.
Katharine Hepburn is one of the strongest inspirations for me. Her quote 'If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun' is something I think about often. And I hope I am at least somewhat successful at having some of that fun ...
Sophia Loren was quoted as saying: 'Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful'. What a great lesson in self-confidence! Believing in ourselves is definitely something we can all use more.
'I wish I were supernaturally strong so I could put right everything that is wrong' - Greta Garbo's wish to make all right with the world.
Bette Davis believed you should 'Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work'. Fearless!
'I regret the things I didn't do, not what I did' said Ingrid Bergman. Follow your heart, do the things you want to do, and don't let anything stop you.
Spending time with each of these leading ladies, getting to know them better as I painted their portraits was a big leap for me as an artist, and it certainly made me feel like I was not letting doubt or fear of the end result stop me from doing something I really wanted to do. I knew I would not regret pushing forward, but I would definitely regret not going for it. It's all about taking a chance and following your heart and your intuition.
The opening was so much fun, and I was very happy to have reinforcements for moral support :-)
A huge thank you to my awesome and always supportive boyfriend Keith, for always being there for me, in so many ways, big and small 😘 and to my cool friends Natalie, Quincy, Mimi and Norris who took time out of their busy schedules in the middle of the week to come out to West Hollywood on a Thursday night. I know it's not an easy thing to do after work, and in rush hour traffic, no less! Thanks for all your support and encouragement, you guys, on this night and always - love you all so much ♡
Thanks, Norris, for taking many of the pics and for the DSLR crash course, this iPhone girl is definitely a convert now ;-)
Mimi even let me borrow some of her stylish photo poses, too, lol. Always so much fun with these two!
My portraits will be on display at Critical Content until August and available for purchase. Thanks for having me, Critical Content! And thank you so much Colette Daze @cocolettied for your kindness and support, the opening was a huge success, you did an incredible job pulling it all together! Congratulations, my friend! 😘
If you’re not familiar with @CriticalContent, they produce some great shows like Limitless on CBS and The Writer’s Room on Sundance – check out their website at criticalcontent.com
Last but not least, thank you to everyone who came on Thursday night to support the artists and the show! Congratulations to all the participating artists! You guys are amazingly talented and inspiring! All my best to you ♡
ps - The exhibit will be up through August at the Critical Content address below, if you would like to check it out:
I'm Cristina Tudor, a Beverly Hills fashion illustrator. I paint live illustrations at fashion, retail, entertainment, bridal and lifestyle events for clients such as David Yurman x Galia Lahav, Badgley Mischka, Bloomingdale's, Warner Bros. Studios, Diptyque Paris, Ted Baker London, Eric Buterbaugh x Beverly Hills EB Florals, and Survey Monkey, among others.
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