2017 in Review

In Drawing, Painting by Zoe Nathan

I’ve recently dusted off my website and logged into my blog for the first time in four years! I found this unpublished post about 2017 and thought I’d post it though much time has passed. I’ll try to post about each year that has past and catch up anyone interested in what I’ve been doing these past few years of being MIA on my own website and blog. I mostly existed online on Instagram, (which propagates to  Facebook), but I’m going to bring my focus back here as well. Like in October of 2017, I’ve been enjoying new vigor in my art practice with a 100 Day Art Challenge. Even more ambitious than the 31 days of the October Drawing Challenge, I hope to get my momentum running for longer, if not indefinitely, after a long hard year of pandemic for everyone. I hope you enjoy the results, which can now be viewed on my pen and ink drawing page. And below is where I left off in 2017:

Portrait of Buster Keaton | Introspection — Zoe Nathan 2017

The past year was one of victories and losses. I graduated with a group of inspiring women (and a few men) from W.E.V., Women’s Economic Ventures, gaining some business acumen and entrepreneurial insights. However, right before the course began I lost a supportive mentor/family friend to cancer and later in the year a young friend to a freak accident. These lessons in mortality weighed heavily on me as I worked throughout the year. It wasn’t until the Fall that I had the head and heart space to really dive into art again, and took full advantage of my shared art studio before it went under construction and forced my friend Pausha and I to leave. I resumed some reproductions of Dos Fridas, (by Frida Kahlo- who has been a lifelong inspiration of mine), and many harlequin portraits in my Artist Muse Series. I even did a monotone portrait of Jeff Buckley for a tribute concert in roughly two days flat. In the last few months, several walls have come down and been replaced around the studio while my studio-mate and I have waited and worked to the best of our respective abilities from our homes. Unfortunately, home has a lot more distractions than the studio, which is less conducive to concentration. Even using the facilities at the studio required a trek to another building. I think I speak for us both in saying that we miss the sparse simple space of the studio.

Portrait of Jeff Buckley | Zoe Nathan 2017

In the interim, I’ve started a drawing practice that is almost unprecedented for me. Through the impetus of a drawing challenge in October, Inktober or Drawtober, I completed nearly a drawing a day, starting with still life drawings, and moving onto complex portraits. I gained familiarity and comfort drawing with thin drafting pens and India ink with calligraphy brushes. One of the resulting images is in the 100 Grand show at Sullivan Goss in Santa Barbara until January 28, 2018. I have continued this practice of pen portraits, using my favorite Micron 01 and Gelly Roll white pen for occasional corrections. I’m now focusing on a “Heroes” theme, developing portraits of characters throughout history I feel deserve greater recognition and praise for their accomplishments. The first of these is of Alan Turing for his brilliant contribution of a machine that, using the calculations of a group of Polish mathematicians, decrypted German Enigma-encrypted codes. I have several others in mind to draw, and these can be seen usually directly after completion on my Instagram feed.

Portrait of Buster Keaton | Virtual Isolation — Zoe Nathan 2017 Shown at Sullivan Goss in the 100 Grand Show 2017

Portrait of Alan Turing | Zoe Nathan 2017