Tuesday, 31 March 2015

On Painting Portraits

There are different kinds of painted portraits, perhaps as many different kinds as there are artists.  Some painters with phenomenal talent can create a very realistic looking image with ink or pencil.  I am in awe of images which I at first think are photos and then find out are drawings.  There are portraits in the style of the old masters with a luminescence to them akin to modern photo manipulation and paintings that seem to point out all of a subject's imperfections.  Some artists are aiming for as close to an accurate representation as possible and others are more interested in an interpretation.  I confess to being the latter type, but to certainly not having the skills to recreate a Rembrandt.  I have no interest in learning to either because if I want an exact likeness I take a photograph.  With the development of-pun intended, sorry-photography, there has been freedom for art to move on from exact representation though it did so with plenty of critics barking their opinions.

I love the focus of fauvism on strong colours and brush strokes with a deliberate abandonment of realism.  I wish I were living in times when to paint like this was daring and scorned because it was new but then perhaps I do not really wish to be constantly told that my work is hideous.  For me the portrait subject is kindly and bravely allowing me to use his or her features to express something, something which bring me joy in the process of creating and thus I hope transmits a feeling of joy to others viewing.  Some artists make their subjects more beautiful than in reality, some choose to paint only beautiful models and represent an ideal female beauty and some, like myself, arguably create an image that is not as conventionally beautiful as the subject likely is.  It is my hope that in doing this I am saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that we all behold slightly differently.  I do not aim for symmetry and detail that mimic reality but distort that slightly and dare you to find that beautiful too.  I wish I could claim to be original in doing this but I know I am not.  I suppose the upside is that I could perhaps be equally happy if you love or loathe my work.  The worst thing would be to leave you indifferent.  If you are, don't tell me!  Sandra, I hope you like it.

                                               Sandra

15 comments:

  1. I love it! The colours are gorgeous. I wish I could watch you paint. We have similar styles I suspect. It would be interesting to see how our process differs.
    I did a card for Bushy which you saw on Pinterest, with the galahs, which was my latest creation. Thanks again for the necklace! xo Jazzy Jack

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are most welcome! My process is called dive in and get lost and messy. xoxo

      Delete
  2. Oh yes, Peaches McGinty herself!! She will love it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beautiful, Shawna! Your subject has fantastic presence, I hope she loves it too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Amber. If she hates it I will just say it is someone else. ;-) xo

      Delete
  4. can´t agree with you here - but the painting of sandra is cute!
    xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL-I said many things. You disagree with all of it? xoxo

      Delete
  5. I am in awe of anyone with creative skills, since I have so few... Your paintings are wonderful, I like your use of colour, and both Sandra and Beate (in your previous post) look fantastic in your paintings. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Curtise, you are so very kind. I hope you have a lovely Easter weekend that involves chocolate. xoxo

      Delete
  6. I love the colour, the blue of her eyes and shirt, and the orange of her scarf and mouth, it's a cheerful and inquisitive looking face! I'm not artistic in the least but do enjoy looking at portraits and always wonder how close they are to what the person was really like/or what else the artist was up to!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you want to see how accurate I am, check my sidebar for the blog of Peaches McGinty. She smiles much more and I made her a bit contemplative. xo

      Delete
  7. I think it's wonderful! I don't think portraits have to be 100% alike the real people, and even on different photos we look like different versions of ourselves sometimes. But to catch the essence of a person through the eyes of the artist - that is the highest point of art to me. In painting, in music, in interviews - you create your version of a person (a thing, a landscape, a situation etc). You create a character, you tell a story. And I love seeing the world through your eyes - it is beautiful, colorful and warm! xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Natalia. I really agree with your point about how we look different even in different photos. I could paint the same person over and over and be seeing and creating different versions of them. I do that with self portraits too. xoxo

      Delete
    2. By the way, I showed both portraits to Justin - and he recognized both Sandra and Beate immediately, and he only saw a very few pictures of them before. We both thought that you did great job! Sincerely xxxxx

      Delete
    3. Aww thanks to both of you for your support. I will send hugses to Justin too!

      Delete

I love visitors and I love comments. I will try my best to respond to everyone! Thanks for stopping by.