Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The problem with portraits

The subject of these paintings is a pretty young girl I painted five times, three times from life and finally just working from photographs. The first portrait is painted from photographs. I like the second one best, because it's fresh and lively. It was painted from life. But the mother didn't recognise her daughter. I am very influenced by the confident, competent drawing of the impressionists and don't really like tight realistic portraits, especially when the subject is a child. I like a suggested, inspired, and personal interpretation of the subject. But when I get knotted inside, the painting doesn't work.

I have found comments on Robert Genn's website,, very helpful. Robert raises topics biweekly and a vast international community of artists respond. The most recent email inspired a lengthy debate between several other artists and me, about getting bogged down artistically.

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