Autumn News

Lately I’ve been painting portraits. Just about everything I paint has people in it somewhere. For me it is usually facial expressions, the glare of eyes and gestures of hands that provide the interest, intensity and story-telling that I’m looking for. There are some beautiful landscape pieces around that I admire, and even own, but when it comes to actually picking up a paintbrush, it’s normally people that stand out for me. And so recently I’ve also been discovering some more about the 19th Century portrait artist John Singer Sargent. Sargent was too recent to be an Old Master, and he was too traditional to be an Impressionist (although he did hang out with them occasionally), but he expertly combined elements of both of these styles into his portraits, and in the process conveyed an intensity and narrative that makes them stand out. Sargent was never lauded as ground-breaking or founder of a new style, and in fact was bagged by a few critics for not being edgy enough. But his work easily stands the test of time for its quality, its beauty and its story-telling. For anyone interested in portraits, that’s more than enough enduring inspiration right there.

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