The Modern Portrait. . .

Charlotte  .  14 x 11"  .  oil on linen covered panel
I've been working of late on some commissions that can't be revealed or posted about yet - starting way ahead of Christmas gives a painter some breathing room, especially when portraits are involved, or anything of an intricacy for that matter!  

I'm breaking the silence today to feature my latest portrait of a young girl living way over on the other side of the country!  When I first saw her photographs, sent by her grandmother, I was instantly captivated by her old soul.  I always ask people to give me their impressions or thoughts of the commission subject as it makes all the difference in the world when attempting to capture a spirit and likeness.  Her grandmother is eloquent in expression and writing - she knew exactly what to convey about her beautiful eleven-year-old granddaughter!  That's an artist's dream when not able to paint in the flesh, so to speak.   

I find people really love the more modern thought of a casual portrait.  Yes, you can still see many traditional portraits (think seated in a formal setting with clothing the subject may never wear again, large bows in girl's hair, etc.) but like everything, taste changes.  The younger generations are desiring something more casual - smaller, yet intimate enough to capture your gaze immediately.  

Detail, Charlotte
Who can resist those golden, chocolate eyes?  Her old-world, Mona Lisa smile?  It's always interesting to me how some portraits absolutely seem to fall into place immediately - this was one of them.  When that happens you feel especially grateful, and it gives the whole process a rather mystical air. 

After painting Charlotte, I zinged immediately to a still life/pet combination commission, then on to two landscapes of Maine - commissioned to remind the receiver of his favorite place to vacation.  Although I overheard him say he put 1200 miles on the car over a two week period while there recently.  Just shows how the meaning of vacation is different for everyone!
Hmm. . .I'm thinking good book, outside, warm breeze, sun, quiet, island maybe, long walks.  

Hope your Thanksgiving is peaceful and loving - I imagine nearly all can agree it's one of the nicest of holidays and we are all probably ready for a reset this year.  Maybe it will begin Thanksgiving when we are reminded of our blessings as we gaze upon family and friends.  

We thank you for the mystery of creation:
for the beauty
that the eye can see,
for the joy
that the ear may hear,
for the unknown
that we cannot behold filling the universe with wonder,
for the expanse of space
that draws us beyond the definition of ourselves (and others).
  ~ from Prayer of Thanksgiving - Vienna Cobb Anderson, with a little addition by me!


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