I suppose it’s always been portraits I’ve been attracted to. Weather it’s Marleen Dumas, with her, sometimes disturbing abstractions of the human face; or Freud with the exciting sense of emotion found in each of his stunningly detailed and controversial paintings. Or for that matter the surprise we find in the overpowering works (in content and size) of Kehinde Wiley. From the time I began to sketch, It’s always been the human face… or some sort of an abstracted cartoon that managed to find its way from my head to the paper.
So… when you look at my work in its totality, you’d probably determine me to be a Portrait Painter. The question, then becomes; are those paintings at all interesting? Do they conjure up some sort of memory? Or even beg to question; why are you attracted you to in this piece? …do I want to know more about the person in the painting? Well; if any of those things happen, then, as an artist, I’m a happy guy. The other question I’ve been asked, so many times is…… “Jimmy; where do you get your models? Where do those faces; those people; come from?” The answer is, really a pretty simple one. Not very straight forward, I’m afraid, but simple nonetheless. They’re from the street photo’s I’ve taken. From the Web. From the Figure Drawing studio. From Hollywood. From History. And yes, from social media. They’re people I know, and those I don’t, and never will. I’ll tell you this, though. Some of those images; or at least their “facial language”, repeat themselves throghout my Art. So, in some strange sense, I must know all of them, right.
All that said; I suppose the moral to the story is this. What you paint is driven by what you find interesting. And the very best thing about that, is that “interesting” is almost always a surprise. Not contrived, and as a result right around the corner. So… be aware. Pay attention. Try to “see” and not just look. And most of all, do your best not to miss that Decisive Moment.
I’ve recently uploaded a number of portraits to the Website. Mostly watercolor. So why not check it out and let me know what you think.
Till next time…….