Anne Shams Soulfire Art

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Inspiring Women Portrait Project Fourth Progress Report, December 2018: Preparing the birch panels.

On  my teacher Ulan Moore’s advice, I began by preparing birch panels for all ten triptychs before beginning the portrait process.

The preparation began with cutting a large sheet of birch plywood into the central and side panels.

Next I gessoed all the panels, front and back, to prevent warping.

production line      production-line4-e1544661397289.jpg





Then the preparatory sketches for the arches and columns that surround the portraits and the calligraphy in the side panels.

production line first draw

Next, paint the arches and columns. The middle area of the central panel is left unpainted for the portrait. The middle area of the side panels is prepared with a background for the calligraphy.

Finished columns

As of December 5th, all 10 triptych panels are painted and ready for portraits and calligraphy. Whew!

all Panels







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Inspiring Women Portrait Project: Third Progress Report December 2018

The project will include ten portraits, each in triptych format.

  • I have been collecting ideas for which ten inspiring women I want to portray.
  • I  study their work and lives, and look for pithy and revealing morsels by or about them that will be on the side panels.
  • I search for photos of the chosen women that will be optimal as painting resources.

The photo needs to be inspiring, too!

Perhaps a photo of a well-known woman that is not well known, such as the young Ruth Bader Ginsberg….


Ruth Bader Ginsberg


2.Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson

Or a compelling photo that reveals the woman’s personality, such as this photo of Rachel Carson, the environmentalist, who continued to campaign for the earth’s health even in the face of the cancer that took her life.




On the wall of my studio I have posted gallery of possible women to portray.

production line2




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Inspiring Women Portrait Project: Second Progress Report

Here is an example of the classic portrait  process that I learned from Ulan Moore, using the stages of painting Pauli Murray’s portrait.