Monday, January 05, 2009

A form of neurology?

Talking to a friend who is a psychiatrist in NY over the phone the other night, I heard myself say that if I could start my life over, I would like to become a neurologist because I am fascinated by human behaviour. "You mean a psychiatrist," he said. "No, that's too open to interpretation," I said. "I would like to really understand how the brain functions."

I am flying over to the US for a couple of weeks at the end of January to execute some portrait commissions, so grabbed some local children of friends to hone up my skills. As I was working on them, I realised of course that I am studying people when I paint them, and interpreting them in an artistic way.

I am far more interested in drawing people than anything else, and want to get away from illustration because I like the open ended freedom of painting from life. What happens, happens. If the portrait becomes winsome, or irritable or dark, it's a result of a living interaction between the sitter and the painter. My portraits of children are almost always commercially successful because children have not developed the complicated and sometimes conflicting nuances of adults. Adults usually have a preconceived image of themselves which does not always tally with my vision of them.

1 comment:

Notre Vie Juteuse said...

a friend of ours had a "short lived" television show in the states called "8 lbs" (it was on last year) and it was sort of like a "grey's anatomy" but all about neurologists and the human brain and it was so fascinating, i loved it. Unfortnately not enough people did, so it was cancelled.
We also find that at our studio in Los Angeles we prefer to only teach children (and not adults) but they are so free and not so critical about what they do, what their painting/drawing looks like, etc...
your pictures are amazing.
hope the trip back to the states goes well
hoping to maybe do a watercolor class with you when you return!!!!!