Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Final Portrait - My studio assistant, Fred

May 25, 2012 - Finished one final portrait before flying off to Boston next month.
"Time Out" oil on canvas - 24"H x 18"W
The subject of the painting comes per a quote from my advisor:

"richard brilliant (my old professor at columbia) is an excellent resource for you on portraiture. and, as you're discovering, it's a hugely compelling topic in painting today.as i'm writing this i'm hoping you're experimenting with all kinds of portraiture--the husband, the kids, the family, the friends, the denizens of nebraska. don't limit yourself to one theme."

This semester, I have painted my son Henry, I have painted Reggie Bibbs and David Oosterloo (both of whom I met on FB through the different Neurofibromatosis forums located there) and I have painted my friend, Littleton Alston. My final portrait this semester is going to be of my youngest son, Fred.

There are many reasons to pick him. The first is the most obvious quote from the sitter himself, "Why did you paint Henry and not me?" The second reason is that I've watched him grow up too quickly before my eyes this semester. We have spent so much time together and next fall he will be in kindergarten. So, I am losing my wonderful studio assistant. The third reason is that I snapped this picture of him when he was in time out. I can't remember what he did to get in trouble now, but I do remember him saying "It's hard to always be good ALL the time, when you are only a little boy, Mama!"

Okay, that is probably true. However, I find that Fred is a "little boy" only when it comes to punishment, but a "big boy" when it comes to getting rewards, staying up late and other things he seems to believe are denied to him but not to his older brother, Henry. Ahh...I was also the youngest...I remember the unfairness of it all! hahaha....my older siblings would most likely rebuke that claim!

Here it goes:

Charcoal lay in drawing of Fred by the window
Underpainting / Slight color washes

1st pass of color work - nope, not finished


Kathleen Neff said...

Rachel, I know this scenario oh, so well, and I know how important those childhood portraits really are to an artist's children...from the oldest to the youngest. Henry will be so proud of this when he's 40 years old!

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