History of the Project
I set out on March 30th 2020 with a call to healthcare professionals on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic on Twitter saying that I would love to paint their portraits to honor them. Having no income at the time and no means to donate to charity or feel like I could make more of an impact than just staying away from others; painting portraits was all I was able to do, and I was going to make the most of it. After a lot of shares and still no one taking me up on the offer, I thought the idea was done there. A few days later a friend of mine reached out saying that his friend on twitter @Ninja_nurse1983 would take me up on the offer and allow me to paint her! After posting my painting of her on April 7th, word of mouth spread the project further than I could have imagined.
Around my 50th portrait, I realized I needed to set an end goal for the project somewhere. With all the support and requests, as wonderful as they were, there needed to be a goal. I decided I’ll cap it at 100. As I am writing this, I am at number 74. 100 portraits is a challenge for me, and yet it still feels like not enough. It’s overwhelming to think that this is such a small fraction of the people on the frontlines of the pandemic. Hearing everyones stories, and looking into their eyes as I paint them, I can only hope what I am doing is bringing a small bit of joy into their lives.
Materials used: Arches Oil paper, Gessoed with Michael Harding Non-Absorbent Gesso, Lines drawn with General's Layout Pencil, and painted with oil paint.
The size is 4"x7", to stay true to the ratio that a smartphone selfie would be.
I am hanging onto the paintings for the time being. While I still have the whole series, I would like to see them exhibited together to honor them further when we can all be in public spaces together again. After that, I will work on distributing the paintings back to the healthcare workers.
Until that day comes, this will be an online showcase dedicated to this series and the healthcare workers the paintings are of. If they wish to have their stories told and shared here, I will be posting them along with their portraits.
In the meantime, I am creating a print for those looking for some way to support the project and have a piece of the art for themselves. Many people who are friends or relatives of the workers have reached out to me requesting something of this nature.
As I have more updates and information, I will be updating it here, and on my social medias.
Supporter Profile: Julia Maddalina Paints for HOPE
Faces of the Frontline Spotlight
Articles on the Project:
About the Artist
From a young age I’ve drawn almost every day and I’ve always found portraiture and fantasy art most fulfilling. I’ve been inspired by the works of John Singer Sargent, William Adolphe Bouguereau, John William Waterhouse, and Norman Rockwell. Studying their work has influenced my perspective on what I can do as a portrait artist and illustrator. I’ve studied with numerous artists from around the country in workshops and have attended the National Portrait Conference several times. In college, I majored in Illustration in hopes of incorporating the narratives I loved into my paintings, then minored in BioMedical Illustration to improve the anatomy of the figures and portraits in my work.
The style I work in would be described as realistic. I love depicting the people around me, and trying to capture their emotion, attitude, and personality in my work. My inspiration for all my portraits comes from the people I interact with every day. I also do fantasy art where I have more freedom to play with the environments around my subjects, as well as the subjects themselves. Inspiration for that work comes from the books and media I listen to as I do my other work, such as audiobooks and podcasts.
Like many artists weathering the shelter in place orders, I am creating artworks inspired by the events happening all around us. Through my portraits, I aim to tell the stories of the healthcare workers on the frontline of the pandemic.