Thursday, March 24, 2011

My father - again


My father has been dead for over 20 years. About 6 months before he died I started a portrait of him, but it was never finished.  He saw the start of the piece and liked it, but life - and death - got in the way to stop its completion. Although I've tried to draw and paint a portrait of him several times since, it has just never worked out as I wanted.  The likeness evaded me at every turn.

I pulled out the old portrait tonight to look at it again and see if I could revive it.  The image below is the original portrait that was started about 21 years ago.  It was painted in acrylic and as it was a thin layer I figured I would take a chance and paint over it in oils.  The canvas board is 16 x 20 and the portrait a head and shoulders quite small in a dark background.  Perhaps it was symbolic at the time, who knows?

Using another image of him, as the original photo is heaven knows where, I started repainting his features in oil and lightening and softening the background around him.  Getting a photo of the current painting has been nightmarish, but this is the best I can do for now.  Another one in daylight tomorrow may be better.  I'll continue to work on this.  I don't want it to be heavily detailed.  It should be more like a memory, a bit misty.

This time I think its going to work.


Brian Carey said...

He has deep, inquisitive, intelligent eyes. :-)

Christiane Kingsley said...

Jeanette, you have over 20 years more experience will work this time. I like what you have done so far.
This painting will mean so much to you!

Gary L. Everest Paintings said...

Dear Jeanette,

Having just lost my Dad in late February, and just completing a self-portrait thinking of him, I was touched by your efforts to complete the portrait of your father.
It's very nice, in all its versions and I especially like the first effort. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished painting.
Thanks for sharing it.

Lydie said...

Your approach is emotional, thank you for sharing it with us. Beautiful portrait,your father would certainly pleased with it.

Jeanette said...

Eyes make or break a portrait don't they Brian?

Thanks Christiane, yes it seems to be moving ahead well now. Time changes perspective on things too.

Gary, my condolences on losing your father. No matter how old we are, the death of a parent brings us back to being children again somehow.

Its an odd feeling still, working his portrait. I hear his voice and see his movements. Its both good and bad.

But yes, it seems to be coming together.

Lydie, thank you. I much prefer to do portraits of people I don't know than of those I do. Maybe my mind tries to work from memory with people I know instead of fact.

Sandra said...

What a touching post. I think it is absolutely wonderful :0)

Hedera said...

Portraits are always deeply interesting and these images of your father even more so - a very moving post.