Works in Progress

Come here to check out what I’m working on lately…… and if I’m brave enough, I’ll let you tell me what you think! (I guess that’s MY Superhero part of the process!)

Wonder Woman Katy Jei Olson Chemo Queen Radiation Diva Lisa Pheonix Rising Molly In Her Ring of Light

Wonder Woman Katy

Wonder Woman Katy

Radiation Diva

Phoenix Rising: she’s ready!

Posted on by bporwit

ptg of woman in Phoenix costume rising from flamesPhoenix Rising  is ready! It was a good painting day…..









closeup of ptg of woman in Phoenix costume

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Jei Olson: The Alchemist – ready to fly

Posted on by bporwit
ptg of woman with wings

Jei Olson is ready to fly!

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The Honorable and Joyful Lady Justice

Posted on by Superhero Portrait Studios


Suzi is the subject that I did not know prior to the project.

One of her coworkers came through my studio at ArtAWhirl, saw the portraits, and said “There is someone you need to meet!”

Suzi-Q wrote to me soon: “I have a plastic goose that I bring with me and people give me costumes for her and one of them is a superhero costume, so that’s gotta count for something, right?” — Instant YES.

Suzi is bright, bouncy, hilarious; her Caring Bridge entry about emergency surgery read like stand-up comedy. She entered the process of identifying her persona by exploring powers, props, tools, plus the goose sidekick! She dove deeply, integrating her faith and search for meaning. Joy and Justice rose to the top. She chose a pose that says “joy” – flying at the viewer with her justice-and-joke-wielding gavel/bottle opener (humor is one of her superpowers) and her evil-fighting goose alongside. We’re going with a horizontal canvas, and this action pose will reveal the super Suzi. Plus the look in her eye, that dazzling smile – can’t wait to get started!

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Ruby Runner Can’t be Stopped!

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Wife, sister, mother of soldiers, grandmother, early bird baker, Packers fan, daughter of a breast cancer survivor

Diagnosed at 40 in 2009

Double mastectomy, reconstruction, chemo

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –


Anne has always embraced work. Growing up in northern Wisconsin, she labored in the ginseng, pickle and potato fields. As an adult she’s had office jobs. These days she’s a baker.

She likes the feeling of not just working, but working hard.

Anne’s breast cancer diagnosis did more than alter her body; her treatment changed her energy level. It was as if a button that regulates her stamina turned from high to low.

Chemotherapy knocked down her immune system as well. During treatment, she picked up the flu, an intestinal virus, pneumonia — twice. Her hemoglobin plunged, requiring a blood transfusion.

Her old vitality has still not returned.

“I’m grateful for the treatment but I miss the old me,” she said. “I’m so tired of being tired.”

As soon as Anne was asked to claim superpowers, she had a vision of Ruby Runner.

“She’s lean and strong and fast. She can walk and run forever. And she doesn’t need naps,” Anne said.

Anne is working to rebuild her strength. Someone suggested to Anne that maybe her reduced energy level is her ‘new normal.’

“I don’t accept that,” she said. “I won’t!”

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Lady Phoenix – photo shoot 4/13/2013

Posted on by bporwit
Photo of woman with arms at sides

Lady Phoenix: straight on shot 4/14/13

Dark Phoenix by Steven Purtill

Dark Phoenix by Steven Purtill

One shot from our photo shoot with Lisa – Lady Phoenix – yeah~

This one comes very close to her chosen source image (by Steven Purtill) –

That one is a Dark Phoenix image. We will likely put Lisa in the green costume, and let her hair (and her imagination) go wild!

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Jei Olson: Super Human

Posted on by bporwit

How Jei Olson feels about being a superhero:

Most of the time Cancer didn’t make me feel all that sexy or heroic (though, sometimes, it did, and in surprising ways).

In fact, I often felt fragile in the course of my treatment. I never wanted to be weak or (worse) unglamorous or worse yet) mortal! For, before cancer came to call, I WAS a superhero.

However, all the gross body issues that ensued, looking and feeling the way treatment makes you look and feel, suddenly becoming delicate where I never have been, fearing needles, not wanting scars or to look deformed, not wanting to lose my Ovaries, my partner, my power, was awful.

In fact, once treatment started working on my body, I felt distinctly as though my cape and utility belt had been ripped away. I was stripped down, humbled.

Eventually, I accepted this new mortal condition. Eventually, I even embraced it – I mean, hell, what is image in the face of death?

Unexpectedly, I emerged from that, not defeated, not weakened, but with a new kind of power. I didn’t feel so much like a super hero. I felt like something far more real. I didn’t need to fly, bend steel, or shoot lightning bolts from my hands while looking fabulous in scant Nuevo armor. I needed to accept my human-ness.

So, since I survived it, I think of myself more like a Phoenix than hero. A reinvention. Not super human, but really human.

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The eyes have it: Wonder Woman Katy WIP 3/2/2013

Posted on by bporwit

Progress on Wonder Woman Katy: more on flesh tones and her EYES —– !!!










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Radiation Diva: Work in Progress – 2/9/2013

Posted on by bporwit

And so, at long last, I was ready to add one of the final details: the bar code from Jill’s hospital bracelet, from the set-up appointment from her radiation treatments. She wanted her hospital bracelets transformed into “Wonder Woman” style bracelets, and now she’s deflecting those darn cancer bullets – big time.Radiation Diva - almost done~!
Bracelets with barcode

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Wonder Woman Katy: 2/7/2013

Posted on by bporwit

Wonder Woman Katy with cape upper  Roughed in the cape on Wonder Woman Katy….. Katy decided she wanted her cape red on the outside, pink on the inside. She was never a pink person, didn’t like the color pink – “…now I wear pink with pride.”  – happy to oblige, Katy – you’ve earned it –



Wonder Woman Katy painting torso detail

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Jei Olson – The Alchemist

Posted on by bporwit

Jei has been sending me more images, stories, and inspiration for her piece. She writes:

COLOR!! Is a BIG YESSSSS! I like rich, Bold, lush, and saturated colors.  Anything that makes you want to bite into it. A mix of warm and cold with a touch of gold or copper metallic is usually what I end up working with.  Purpley-Blues, Greeny-blue, Dark Lime, Persimmon and Saffron Oranges,  Mango-Yellow, deep Raspberry Reds, and Violet Reds, NO PINK, though! A touch of glossy deep gunmetal grey, or even black (just enough to make the colors look richer).

Jei’s living room (just to demonstrate):

Purple couch with flowers and colorful food

Chemo Queen with Goggles concept image

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