"The true painter strives to paint what can only be seen through his world." ~André Malraux

After a year of intermittant "painter's block"  I am working again in my studio, and feeling in a tentative positive state. Painting is a solitary activity, and as artists, we are often working in a vacuum. Unless we have a show hanging, reaction to the work is minimal. With several pieces underway, I decided that perhaps if I write about what I am doing or am attempting to do, it might act somewhat as a muse for me as well as give me some feedback on the work I am creating -- hence the establishment of this blog. 

As for the blog title, traditional, representational painting is a language for expressing what’s visible. But I feel my work is the most successful, and most interesting, when focused on things not entirely visible. I paint what I see but also what I sense and feel by utilizing my interior and unseen world --- in other words, the invisible world. Plein air work or  studio work from photographs are only touchstones or landmarks which guide me to other inner spaces. By so doing, I find that I am pushing the boundaries between representational and abstract work.

You can enlarge the images in this blog by clicking on them.

Feb 17, 2011

The Portrait Evolves....

I have been working a bit each day on the problem portrait, and finally have it to a point where it is viewable. Still very much of a WORK IN PROGRESS (hair and neck are and chin are just roughed in) it begins, at least, to look like the photo I am using. I am not certain, however, that it really catches the feel of the young lady in question .

In progress # 1



I have sent this and a detail to the family for comment, and they seem to feel features are spot on, but face needs to be rounder, chin less defined. Easy fixes. I will be away all weekend, which is good, I can approach it with a fresh eye and maybe some more family suggestions on Monday. I am beginning to see that the problem is again, with the photo, because it is taken at an agle which foreshortens her lower face.
In progress # 2
 (Later) Here is the portrait with some modifications as requested: softening and shortening chin, broadening and thus rounding face.  At this stage, changes are all very subtly done, but can make a big effect. But you have to be careful not to lose the likeness -- I now think her left eye is a little too open, not dark enough, needs more under-eye poufiness and looked better previously! One problem is that in photo it shows her incredibly long eyelashes, but when I attempt to replicate that, it makes her look like a 50's movie star! Again, ALL an easy fix if family agrees. And should the hair appear bushier? Still need to work on neck and clothing.

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