Saturday, February 9, 2013

Portrait Oil Painting

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

I was amused recently when one of my close friends, a painter, said (as he has on more than one occasion over the past year) that he thinks that I am a strong enough artist that Angel [Academy of Art here in Florence, Italy] will not beat out of me what is so good about my art. It is funny how some of us have this discussion about the four major classical art schools here in Firenze and how they differ, as well as how they do not. And most of us strive for our own independence.

Educating myself on the work of others is something that I have changed my opinion about over the years. I did not receive the traditional art education and before coming to Firenze, I knew very little about art history. I sometimes choose NOT to see the work, being curious about what kinds of images I would create without much influence of much anyone else. Other times I feel that looking at the work of others helps me hone on my own taste and grow faster. Much in the same way as my picture taking, each time I see an image, I refine my own sense of composition. It is helpful to analyze my emotional response to try to find that elusive quality that makes me FEEL something in one artwork, and feel too little in a similar effort.

I am where I need to be at the moment, despite my impatience. I find when I paint at Angel that I am trying to piece together many different approaches. Here is a small detail image of a portrait of a model Mauro that I am working on at the moment. This image reminds me of my approach with pastels when I do street painting. I have since gone in and refined the shapes in the face. Shapes are the most important thing and I find myself getting lost in them. But here, I am playing with putting the background color into parts of the face. This follows one idea that every part of a painting is a combination of the same colors. Each part simply varies in how those colors are proportioned. Let us see where this path takes me . . .

Art Anniversary Promotion: Get more art for your buck. Hurry, this one-time offer expires on 15 February 2013.

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