This new thing of doing portraits of specific people is have an affect on me. The response has been shocking. So many people want a refection of the face they love.
this is no small task. As I don’t personally know them I have to rely on photographs. A lot of photographs so I can get a total sense of what the person is like. Photographs are good at capturing the seconds that make the minutes and hours that that person has lived more seeable. I am looking for what their spark looks like and then I can paint them.
I have to study the photographs first for a while.
People have so much inside them that is perceptible on the outside if you look hard enough.
When I do the girl paintings I just look at the total body but this is way different.
You have to see the inside or the outside will be meaningless.
that is how amazing it is doing these.
Doing a self portrait is weird. After doing lots of people it is pretty difficult to turn your eye toward yourself. First of all you are stuck with your actual face. I think I look like really bad because it is me. I have all these emotions tied up.
But I think it is something I should do and get it over with.
I am glad when other artists do their own portrait and so I have to do
I have to remove my ego from the process and just do it.
Art should be egoless anyway. We should not be afraid. That said it makes me feel apprehensive.
It is way easier to be on the inside looking out .
But I am not a camera, I have to be an artist.
A portrait does not have to look exactly like a person. It can be what the person is really like on the inside. Photographs can capture your image but they sometimes don’t capture your whole self. Alice Neel did portraits that weren’t very flattering but they certainly have a lot of life and I am sure that if you knew these people they would resonate through the paint. Painting has more to offer than just a reflection.
Do you ever look in the mirror and think you dont look like yourself.
that is what is nice about paint. you can paint in the other part of you that is inside, and everyone knows about and can relate to. The invisible part is is past your actual face. Your spark.
You can paint a really loose rendition of someone and still capture how they are.
Photography can look glamorous and beautiful and soulful but it can also be a shadow of everything else that is in the person. I have seen super realistic paintings where the artist killed themselves doing a perfect representation of that mask.
Portraits are not just a likeness. Norman Rockwell did super realistic painting but they also blasted the essence of the person out too.
It is a skill to make it breathe.
You have to paint outside the lines to get at the center of what you want. You want to feel that person.
People sometimes get confused about what they are. WE are more than the sum total of the things we have done in the past. We also are what we are capable of doing in the future. We can do something different at any time and then that also has to be put in the mix. That is why dreams are important. Goals and Dreams and Schemes.
My brother lives part time in Soap Lake. Soap Lake is a tiny town with a big idea. An artist named Brent Blake had an idea for a Lava Lamp that would be sixty feet high that would act as a tourist attraction and maybe help some of the small business owners in the tiny town to do better. A noble idea. After years of trying to make that happen it looked like it was impossible, then my brother figured out a way to make it a reality and now it is going to be built.
Who knows what the impact will be on this little community willing to do something pretty extraordinary. Will it bring business and prosperity to a small town in the middle of a desert?? The results don’t matter. How can you fail by doing something this outrageous and bold? Do you think no one will come see it? I doubt it. People love new things. Especially new weird things. Bold things. It gives us all courage to tackle our own fear launching out. We think well if they can do that maybe my idea can be done too! We all benefit from courageous acts – no matter where we find them.