Before she painted this self portrait, at the age of 25, she had studied with Ilya Repin and Osip Braz, spent time in Italy (1902 - 1903) and attended the Academie de la Grand Chaumiere in Paris 1905 - 1906.
Zinaida was born in 1884 on the estate of Neskuchnoye near Kharkov (now Kharkiv, Ukraine) into one of the most refined and artistic families in the Russian Empire.
You can read more details about her life HERE including her battles, sacrifices and heartaches (taking note of where and when she appears in history) as she tried to make a living, for herself and her family, from her artistic practice.
A couple of years ago, the image below, popped up on my FB feed on the Female Artists in History page. Instantly I recognised the women as Moroccan, loved the loose and proficient style of the artist's pastel sketch and searched for more of her work online. What a delight to find out this was Zinaida Serebriakova's work AND that she had visited Morocco on two occasions - 1928 and 1932.
depicting contour, decoration, volume.....
probably with her fingers, to achieve a more painterly effect and bring intensity to the faces. Lovely colours in the skin, working all their tonal values to achieve form and likeness.
Her oil paintings are beautiful, I specially like the family portraits....
there is the active brush line, used both wet and dry, and the strong contour.
I believe, a portrait made in the midst of another culture, in a traditional house (dar, riad or kasbah) or market place (souk), carries not just observations from sight, but the line created in time, holds sounds, smells, textures; sensory memories that enhance and deepen the drawing experience for the artist, and also in the end, the seeing experience for the artist's audience.
There are opportunities on my tours for portrait sessions - if you request them. These are always significant experiences for everyone involved. For example, if we draw en plein air, our sitter can translate the comments that passers-by make (sometimes very witty). Also the ever inquisitive children, who huddle and whisper quietly behind you, have the opportunity to glimpse a process they may long to emulate. It's also fun!
You can work in whatever medium you feel comfortable with. It doesn't have to be drawing or painting. It can be photography or work with fibres and textiles, even inspiration for jewellery.