Haunting and ethereal, these portraits are part of The Glass Menagerie series by painter Lisa Krannichfeld. When I discovered these pieces by Krannichfeld, I simply could not look away. Each portrait achieves the watercolor effect that I know and love, but what truly grabs my attention is the eery quality of the subjects themselves. As the expressions on the women’s faces change, the drama of the watercolor medium enhances the mood. The viewer is left wondering what exactly each subject is contemplating.
Krannichfeld created The Glass Menagerie while studying entomology during her undergraduate years. Assigned the task of carefully collecting insect specimens, killing them, and posing them to best display their anatomy, she realized that they were “beautiful, numbered, and preserved for all time.” In her series, she sought to explore how to best capture human emotions in a similar way. The free nature of watercolor provided the perfect medium in which to capture the fleeting and inexact nature of human emotions. Painting with strokes both broad and thin, Krannichfeld choose colors that will bleed into each other and create tonal variances from palest pale to rich saturation. Each piece is finished in high-gloss resin, perfect for displaying each specimen.