yasmin hernandez welcome

Self Portrait in El Rio

Graphite on Paper
15" x 11"

I mostly create drawings as studies for paintings. I rarely exhibit them though or create them as completed pieces. In the Fall of 2004, I received a wonderful gift from artist Juan Sanchez. He gave me a whole stack of beautiful Italian, cotton paper. I guess it's hard to understand unless you're an artist but when you have access to some beautiful art materials, AND it was a gift, it just makes you wanna run home and do something with it.

When I created this portrait I was in the process of preparing for the exhibit at Patrias in Brooklyn. Since the venue is in Park Slope which is where my family lived until I was 8 years old, that neighborhood has always evoked all these chilhood memories for me. In this sense creating works from this time seemed perfect. Drawing these was a very intimate process and allowed me to revisit both joyful memories, like this one of me in a river in Puerto Rico at the age of 3, as well as painful memories from around the same time. Drawing requires that you get up close to a work since you're not working with a long paintbrush. You also use your fingers more for smudging and stuff. (Something you shouldn't do with paint unless you wanna have horrible chemicals seeping into your skin). So the medium of graphite on paper was equally intimate to the experience of working with childhood memories.