Jolie Guillebeau

Archive for May, 2011


Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

I’ve figured it out. I’ve come up with a way to have my cake and eat it, too.  :)


And I’m hoping you can help me.

As you know, the best thing about the 100 Faces Project was connecting with you (yes, you!) on the other side of the screen. I love reading your stories in my inbox.

So with my next project I wanted to figure out a way to recreate that.

But I also wanted to veer in a slightly different direction. In the past few months, several of my larger paintings have sold, and I’m ready to transition to a new series. I’m excited about what I have planned.

I’m going to paint Pastries.

See, while I’ve been painting faces, I’ve been working onanother project. And I’ve decided to combine the two.

Here’s where you come in. I’m asking you to send me your favorite dessert recipe. I’ll make it, then I’ll paint a painting of the finished product.

There are more exciting details involved with this, but that’s the gist of it. I’m looking forward to a summer of baking and painting, but for the next few weeks I’m going to be focused on enjoying Spring sunshine, finishing a couple of commissions and a coordinating a little event happening here in Portland. So send me your recipes (and stories!) and expect to see paintings back in your inbox in mid-June.

Thanks again for being so awesome! I’m so glad you’re here with me for this!

One Hundredth Face.

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

It’s only right that my one-hundredth face be the face that has made all the other faces possible.

Last year, Karen Walrond took a terrific photo of Chris at an event in Austin. When I told her how much I liked it, she emailed back to say:

Also — and I swear to God this is true — right before I took that photo, I said, “Think of your wife.”  He totally grinned and melted — even the guy next to me noticed — and I snapped that shot.

I love that story. And I love that man.

Ninety-ninth face.

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Aviva sent me her photo, and we bonded because we both had Mary Oliver quotes in our email signature.

You’ll have to email me to find out what mine is, but Aviva’s quote was the classic, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I plan to keep painting.  You?

Ninety-eighth face.

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Ninety-eight faces in, you think I’d have this figured out by now, yes? But often the same things that inspired the painting– the bright sunlight, the angle of the camera on Natania’s face– are the things that make painting it difficult.

And yet, somehow it comes together. I’m not sure I know that much more about painting faces than I did when I started. But at least I’ve learned to stop beating myself up when it isn’t working. Because, with enough time– it will eventually work.

Ninety-seventh face.

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

I choose the backgrounds for each face very deliberately. Sometimes I work with what I see in the photo, but often that’s just not possible, so I choose a color that makes the face stand out a bit more. In 97 faces, I think this is the first red background I’ve chosen. But Jennifer’s face was so distinctive– it seemed perfect.

I had a brainstorm yesterday– through this whole project, I’ve appreciated the connection from you guys sending in your photos, and I’ve wondered if there was a way to continue that with my next project. I just figured out how and I can’t wait to tell you about it! But first, three more faces.

Ninety-fifth and ninety-sixth faces.

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

These faces belong to Justin and Grace. I’ve known both of them since they were in middle school– I was their teacher. It’s so cool to see them growing up. They long ago stopped calling me Mrs. Guillebeau, and began calling me Jolie.

Justin lives in Brooklyn– I saw him a few weeks ago when I was in NYC for a visit. And Grace lives in Seoul, South Korea, so it was kind of cool to see their faces together (even if it was only via Skype) for this photo.

Ninety-fourth face.

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Meet Esteban, Amanda’s younger brother. He’s all smiles in this photo, while she’s very serious, but the resemblance is strong. They both have the same dark eyes, and distinctive part in their hair, just above their left eyebrows.

This is just one example of how this project has been so cool. When I began, I was so intimidated by the idea of painting faces, but determined to get better. The thing I didn’t expect was the powerful connections that have come from getting photos from all of you.

This is the final week of this project and I’m going to talk a bit about what I’ve learned through this, plus tell you about what I’ve planned next. But the most important part of this whole thing is learning more about all of you on the other side of the screen. Thanks for that.

Ninety-Third Face.

Friday, May 13th, 2011

This is Amanda. Her mom sent me her photo and told me about her accomplishments. She’s doing great artwork of her own, and I’m so thrilled to paint her face.


Ninety-second face.

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

After the past two days of nostalgia, I thought it was time to return to the present. And what better way than with a cute kitten?

My friend Tammy writes about life, happiness and her choice to live simply on her blog, RowdyKittens. And this is one of the rowdy kittens that lives with her, and thinks that the yoga mat makes a good hiding place.

Ninety-first face.

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

I can’t tell yesterday’s story of Mrs. Manley without mentioning Janie Ruth.

In December 1980 (the same year that the Christmas tree fell on me, but that’s a different story), I requested a little sister from Santa Claus. Some quick thinking on my grandmother’s part resulted in the arrival of Janie Ruth (Yes, you have to use both names) on Christmas morning.

Janie Ruth was my constant companion through all those episodes of Bewitched. Thankfully she didn’t like scrambled eggs, so I didn’t have to share my sandwich. Shortly after this, an actual little sister arrived, and Janie Ruth returned to stuffed doll status.