Thursday, August 23, 2007

Artistic license

Each of us is an artist, capable of conceiving and creating a vision from the depths of our being.
(Dorothy Fadiman)

I came across a sketch that I did of my sister a couple of years ago that I later turned into a drawing. The back of the head is rather flat in this drawing, one of the reasons it never made it past the drawing table.

I try to be realistic in my portraits and also flatter the individual as much as possible but I don't know if I always succeed. Then again, the perception we have of ourselves is always different than how others see us.

A friend of mine years ago was a wonderful portrait painter and he loathed two types: middle aged women who still thought mentally that they were 20 and young girls who weren't attractive, but who were so in the eyes of their mothers. Roger was a realistic painter and a good one and he hated to compromise just to soothe someone's ego or flatter unrealistically.

It is difficult to find that easy balance of flattery and realism. There will always be tweaks and adjustments either requested by the sitter or seen through the eyes of the artist. Its a lifelong journey of discovery.


Billie Crain said...

years ago i had the misfortune of being asked in a drawing class to create a likeness in 20 minutes of one of my classmates...a middle aged woman dressed like a twenty year old with long flowing bleached blonde tresses. even though i took at least 15 years off her and the likeness was very good she flipped when she saw it and not in a good way either. i swore never to do portraits again. your friend is right and far braver than i.

Jeanette said...

Isn't it funny the inner view some have of themselves? And scary when they are confronted with reality.

Roger despised alterations for vanity and would curse and grumble his way through them, vowing to never again do another. But he always did.