08 May 2016


by Andy Weddington
Sunday, 08 May 2016

Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend. John Singer Sargent

There was a day I sketched and painted mostly traditional, the expected, portraits. And typically in oil. Sometimes in charcoal and watercolor. 

These days, acrylics - for the challenge - preferred. 

Yesterday morning I did a quick sketch on iPad of a young relative who graduated from Clemson in ceremonies yesterday evening. 

Even for the simplicity, there's no doubt who it is. 

Funny thing about portraits, people rarely see themselves. 

The artist sees everything. And more. And economizes - line, shape, and color - to capture the essence. In simplicity there is clarity and power. 

As to the sitter, with age comes tendency to see less chins and more hair. 

The older, and more experienced, I get the best portraits are those that capture the "portrait." 

It's not so easy. 

Sometimes words better capture what other media cannot.

Such a portrait sketch occurred to me this morning while watching the news. 

Here she is - with economy of line, shape, and word. Color not necessary. 

She's an outlier (an a vice e works, too). 

A more accurate portrait there's not. 

Mr. Sargent, who sketched and painted truthful portraits, was indifferent to the sitter. And so am I. Truth matters. I'm not concerned about losing Hillary Clinton as a friend - she never was and never will be. 

In closing...

On a brighter note, I painted a small watercolor sketch for my Mom this Mother's Day. The line, shape, and color of the painting capture a portrait of her I remember from youth. For her I am a painter. 

     7 x 5 in.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! 

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