Sunday, March 3, 2013

Obsequies were held...

Requiescant in Pace

Services were held today, in my studio, for the young fella whose portrait I've been essaying. He certainly went through a lot of changes, occupying far-too many hours, while I slowly convinced myself that I didn't have the faintest idea what I was doing.

Some of you, out of charity, answered my pleas for help. As it turns out, you put your money on the wrong horse. But thank you!

About 4 o'clock today he was obliterated by a good coat of raw umber. Now he belongs to the ages, living in your memory, and in this photo.

What did I learn?

1. It's very salutary to get out of your daily routine from time to time, especially by trying something you know you can't do.

2. Trying to paint skin tones on a white canvas is crazy.

3. If I'd spent time on anatomy and on life classes, instead of gallivanting around, I'd be a third-rate portraitist nonetheless.

4. Next time I'll join some friends to paint from a model.

5. Without knowing how, one can easily slide from a contemporary subject into a head that looks, despite his garment, quite 18th century. Who knew?

Paint well.




  1. You're a brave man for trying, and sharing, regardless of the tragic ending under the raw umber.

  2. Sounds like a bit of a mind setup... We have never met, I am just a fellow artist and human being, so I do understand what the powerful mind can set up... as we have all experienced it. Good luck and on to the next adventure! BTW, I thought your painting to be quite wonderful...

  3. I was captivated by his haunted eyes. Perhaps you painted your panic of portrait painting in them. Is it a self-portrait of a younger Donald in a different era?

  4. The colouring and eyes remind one of a Sir Thomas Lawrence female portrait. If you had slapped on a dress instead of the raw umber I think it would have been a wonderful early 19th century portrait.

    1. Ah, Lawrence, P.R.A.! You're quite right. It may be because he died the same day I was born------with a 115 year interval.