Monday, July 19, 2010

Challenges Beyond the Portrait

This is Bill, he is a friend an artist, and a Vietnam Veteran. Bill visited my studio recently to share with me his stories, his drawings, and to pose for his portrait. Bill has a strong presence, a square jaw and wounded warrior eyes. During the course of my painting process I feel that I am taken to a place beyond the traditional portrait. Or I should say, I feel a responsibility to the individual to honor their spirit, as well as their image. This for me is a huge challenge. I want to represent the person in a profoundly honest way, to move into a place where the camera and "photo realism" is left behind. I am honored to take on this challenge, so that every day I focus on taking my work beyond that which I have done before. Hard work, by all means, and I love every minute of it.

"Art has to reveal to us ideas, formless spiritual essences. The supreme question about a work of art is out of how deep a life does it spring. The painting of Gustave Moreau is the painting of ideas. The deepest poetry of Shelley, the words of Hamlet bring our mind into contact with the eternal wisdom, Plato's world of ideas. All the rest is speculation of schoolboys for schoolboys."
James Joyce "Ulysses"