by Andy Weddington
Sunday, 18 September 2016
So few people are truly themselves when they're in the spotlight. Lucinda Williams
A few months ago I painted a portrait of Abraham Lincoln - 16th President of the United States.
As Mr. Lincoln was not available for (live) sittings, I studied dozens of photographs of him on the Internet and settled on not one for reference but several to capture the essence of him.
To liven him up, I turned his black bow tie into a pizzaz of patriotic color.
Since taking the canvas off the easel, the portrait has leaned against a studio wall for further study.
At present, we have a couple of candidates for president in the spotlight. And a few barely illuminated by near-dead-battery flashlight.
To those in the spotlight ...
Mrs. Clinton, on and off the campaign trail, is in the spotlight - perhaps more so when not in the spotlight for what she appears to be hiding.
Mr. Trump, ever out and about on the campaign trail, is always in the spotlight. He can't hide.
I've not painted Mrs. Clinton's portrait. And would not for all the money in the world. She's not Abe. In fact, his moniker "Honest" is the last word and thought that comes to mind when thinking about her.
I've not painted Mr. Trump's portrait. He practically has all the money in the world and I'd have to think about it. Some question his honesty. But unlike Mrs. Clinton, at least to my knowledge, there's no FBI investigation substantiating dishonesty.
Yesterday, while sorting through paintings in a store room, I came across an empty ornate frame. It struck me as rather "presidential" so I took it to the studio and inserted Abe's portrait.
I took the painting to the living room and leaned it against an east-facing wall to study.
This morning over coffee, as the sun topped the mountains, Nature's spotlight brought Abe to life.
24 x 20 in. acrylic on canvas
That seemed ironic as the news was on and Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump were opining about the bomb that went off in New York City last evening.
Mr. Trump was animated and said we need to get tough. Agree, enough of this nonsense; regardless who's doing it.
Mrs. Clinton looked and sounded dead, despite the bright spotlight, and said we need to wait for facts. As with honest, facts is another word and thought that does not complement, nor compliment, Mrs. Clinton.
What I really wanted to hear was Mr. Lincoln's thoughts. But, as the spotlight passed across him, he just sat there with that wise, stoic expression. Though I imagined what he might think and say.
Today's reality, as to the race for president, is an Abe-like is not running.
And that's too bad because out there, some where, is his likes; either shunning or being neglected by the spotlight.
For another 50 some days the spotlight will intensify on Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump. But that spotlight is not neutral. And so true clarity we'll not see.
One will be president.
But most probably not a Mr. Lincoln - who was true to self even in the spotlight.
And for the rest of us Nature's spotlight, no matter what, offers daily hope.
Be true to self, always.
Here comes the sun!