catherine buchanan © 2014 all rights reserved
Photographing Samoan fire knife dancers with time exposure was a long process of trial and error. To capture fire in a photograph, the dancers could only move their hands, which was difficult since the performance is a dance. One man, who very much wanted a photo of himself, set his clothes on fire and we called it a day. In the end he sat for the painting in person so I could accurately depict his tattoo.
A decade of travel through the islands of the South Pacific inspired me to study portraiture. In 2012 I painted 30 paintings in 30 days at the public library in Pago Pago using photographs I had taken of friends and neighbors.