Plenty of artists love to hole up in their studios by themselves. Some, like Arlington native Amy Hughes Braden, also enjoy the company of others. Braden, who named her collection of unfinished portraits of tweens “Too Extroverted to Paint,” hopes to chat with visitors as she works on the acrylic paintings at Artisphere’s Works-in-Progress Gallery over the next two months. “I’m hoping to have some meaningful interaction with the public that might influence the work,” says Braden, 26, who graduated from the Corcoran College of Art and Design last year.
What inspired this series?
I have a sister who’s 13, and I’m watching her transition from little innocent kid into adult. It’s hard to even watch it because it was hard enough going through that the first time. I feel like it’s just such a raw, vulnerable time for everybody.
What makes tweens good subjects for artwork?
Kids of that age are really dynamic because they’re going through such a big change. I’ve also been thinking about the difference in how the world is now compared to what it was like when I was 12 or 13. My mom and my sister and I had a conference call about whether she should get Facebook, and I railed against it. I had my painful moments growing up, but they weren’t posted on a permanent public forum.
Is there a goal to your show?
I’m trying to draw a little bit of awareness to the fact that kids of this age are dealing with a lot. I feel like we forget it when we leave that phase of life. It’s a really intense time. So, it’s just a call to sensitivity.
What do you like about portraits?
When I work on the face, I see it in planes and blocks of color. There’s just nothing that evokes more drama to me than the face.