There. I said it. I’ve never liked doing portraits. I’m not good at them. Other people think I am, but I’m never satisfied with how they turn out. But that is what most people ask for when they like my work. It doesn’t matter that the work they like is landscapes, they will almost always ask, “Do you paint people?”
I love doing landscapes and still lifes, where there is the impression that people have been there. It’s not often that I actually include people in my paintings, but when I do, you can’t tell who they are. They could be anyone.
|Summer in Saugatuck III
In this painting, there are people, but because they are impressionistic, they are there, but you can’t see who they are. That’s the beauty of watercolors. Because the detail in watercolors isn’t defined, they lend themselves very well to this. It’s also why I love doing them.
I like to think that my art has more universal appeal than portrait art. Anyone can place themselves into one of my paintings and relate to it. With a portrait, it is only meaningful to a hand full of people, and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s just not my style.
|Me having my portrait drawn
But still, people ask me if I do portraits… There are a lot of fine portrait artists out there… And I know people love having their portraits done. Jim and I even had a pastel portrait done of ourselves when we went on vacation last year with the family. The artist was very kind… She made us look much younger than we are. It was fun. She did it very quickly and is obviously very talented at it.
Although, there are a lot of famous, valuable portraits that have been done. The Mona Lisa, Pinkie, the Blue Boy…to name a few. Beautiful portraits that because of their value and historical significance appeal to a lot of people. So much so, that many people buy copies to hang in their own homes.
I’m not really sure what the point of this post is. Except to maybe say that I admire portrait artists. It just isn’t the kind of work I love doing myself. It makes me think of a scene from the movie “Titanic” when Jack is drawing Rose’s picture.
Rose: I believe you are blushing, Mr. Big Artiste. I can’t imagine Monsieur Monet blushing.Jack: He does landscapes.
Do what you love… I do landscapes.