Monday, May 1, 2017
Two new expressive portraits and thoughts about painting them
My husband has been a great model. I call this one, "The Jokester". That was the pose I asked him to take. However, the image also kind of captures his personality. He has a good sense of humor and he's always fooling with people, teasing in a way that makes them laugh. People usually seem to remember him, even if they've met only briefly.
This is my husband again, posing. I call it "Ouch!". I really enjoy doing these expressive portraits. I think I need to figure out how to make them even more expressive, to grab the viewer and make them smile, perhaps. I may never find a market for them, but I'm having a good time and certainly learning a lot about capturing extreme expressions. They're more about major subtleties in the turn of the nose or lip, or shapes of the eyebrows than I ever imagined! (Why do I keep discovering this truth with every painting?!)
The more I'm into these and others of my paintings, like "That's nice, dear" or "Two guys and three beers", the more I realize how influenced I am by Norman Rockwell's illustrations of our daily mundane existence. It seems that most serious portraitists or figurative painters go for more somber, quiet expressions as a way express the "soulfulness" of their sitter. Many are great at that, and I often love their work. But life is both more and less than pathos, and I'm drawn to trying to depict those aspects, too. Sometimes we're in a playful mood, having fun, and sometimes we're self-centered and offended or bored, or even mean. ......I'm probably just not as deep as a lot of other artists. I say that sincerely, and I'm not bothered by knowing that. We're all who we are.