Agnes Grochulska imbues her portraits with various emotions but leaves room for the viewer to determine which ones, preferring to create works “in which not everything is fully realized.” In The Outline Series, the Virginia-based artist uses impasto strokes to capture the distinct facial features of her characters, while drawing less attention to the rest of their figures. She finishes each portrait with a bold outline, adding bits of the vibrant blues, purples, and yellows to highlight portions of the face and neck.
While my work is anchored in representation, I try to not only focus on depicting the details of my subject but also try to capture the emotion—the essence of it. That particular ‘something’ that drew me to that subject in the first moment… There is a moment when I look at the painting and feel the emotion is there. This is the moment to step aside and realize the painting is finished.
Grochulska tells Colossal that the outline colors are intuitive and that she chooses them near the end of each piece, often gravitating toward one that either directly compliments or contrasts the rest of the work. “The outline acts as a metaphor here… It also represents the contemporary aspect of the painting in its bold and vibrant expressive character,” she says. “My hope is that the abstract form of the outline adds an emotional weight and highlights the human subject by drawing attention to the portrayed face they frame.” You can find more of the artist’s lively portraits on Instagram.
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