Monday, November 3, 2014

Frontal Aversion

                                           "Bliss"   © 2014

   The above painting is as close as I will ever come to doing a portrait of my daughter Amanda.  My mother painted portraits and hated every moment of it.  I won't even try.  I know it is a failing, a weakness of spirit, that prevents me.  All the really good realist artists have mastered the figure and portrait.  I did take classes with the noted portrait master Danni Dawson, but painted still lifes while the rest of class worked from a model.  I listened to all of her comments and kidded myself that I was learning portraiture.  Then came the weekly portrait homework.  
   Something odd happens when I try to paint the human face.  And it's not Kandinsky-odd.  An eight inch head suddenly grows to be eleven inches with the chin drooping off the canvas.  Ears get gnarly.  Colors muddy and threaten to turn viral.  I think I have the mouth right and then one brush stroke later it is all lost.  It's like playing touch tag with the devil.
This is the only self-portrait still above ground.  I have kept this portrait only because my brother, Randy says it captures my personality perfectly. That's a damned nasty thing to say about such a gently thrusting chin.  In spite of this, I still love him.
Maybe I'll surprise him with a portrait for Christmas.

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