A View into the Process: Brea Weinreb
all text and images credited to Brea Weinreb

I've been wanting to make more drawings and studies for a while now, but I hadn't had the time when I was working a full time day job. Now that I'm in the studio full time, I spend about three hours every morning making drawings using graphite and ink on paper. This is how I get warmed up and explore ideas for future paintings. It feels good to take things slower and develop my thoughts on paper before going to canvas.


A pencil study for a future painting. I've been working with these source photographs taken at SF Pride for a while now. In this next iteration of paintings I want to focus on the shapes the shadows cast on the bodies, creating the illusion of multiplicity of bodies and the presence of ghosts in queer spaces.


An ink on paper exploration of a reference photo from the same batch of source photographs taken at SF Pride. I'm trying to loosen my handling of the figure and introduce bits of abstraction into my practice. Working on paper helps.


I've made several ink washes of this painting before beginning on canvas. I want to explore how moonlight wraps around a body and onto water, and how the figure interacts with its reflection in water. I'm inspired by Petrarch's Canzoniere, which are a series of sonnets professing the speaker's love for Laura, who by the end of the two hundred sonnets we find out is a substitute for L'aura, or "the air" in Italian. The speaker turns out to be speaking to his reflection the whole time, and falls into the water as Laura disappears.


I keep lots of books, talismans and sacred objects in my studio to keep me grounded and inspired. I've been constantly reorganizing throughout quarantine to keep my space feeling good. 




Writing is also a huge part of my practice. I'm constantly writing down bits of poetry, thoughts on formal and conceptual directions of my paintings, and notes about other artists' work. I started a studio journal during quarantine to keep all these thoughts in one place.


Amala and I have both been using this time to focus on our spirituality and expand our knowledge of tarot, medicinal herbs and meditation. We've been sharing our progress via text and have agreed to start making drawings inspired by Tarot cards that we pull each day.


And around noon every day my studio mates and I open the "Norton Factory Studios Bar" where we sit 6 feet from each other in the parking lot and talk about anything other than the global pandemic to keep us all sane and connected. I feel really grateful for our artistic community throughout this time!

For more about SoEx Mentor, Brea Weinreb, check out her website: breaweinreb.com and on Instagram: @breaweinreb