Portrait of Duncan Grant – sold

port6

Oil on canvas, 10″x8″

This is a portrait of Duncan Grant (1885-1978), who was a British artist and central figure in the Bloomsbury Group. I’ve always been a fan of his and that whole artsy, wild Bloomsbury group. They seemed to live exactly as they chose and defied quite a lot of conventions. Duncan was openly gay and loved by many, including the economist John Maynard Keynes and artist Vanessa Bell (Virginia Woolf’s sister) who bore him a daughter and with whom he lived for 40 years until her death in 1961. I tried to capture something of his dreamy beauty, inspired by an old black and white photo and some of his own self-portraits.

I painted this using very traditional portrait methods in layers of glazes over a monochromatic underpainting. This technique creates a great deal of depth although it can also create some variance in the surface gloss as is often seen in antique “ancestor portraits”. I liked how this effect added to a vintage look although it made the painting quite difficult to photograph.

 

 

Advertisements

Young Man with Blue Eyes – sold

mattscan (3)

Oil on canvas, 10″x8″

This is a portrait study of a beautiful dark haired man with pale skin and vivid blue eyes. He’s got a timeless, arresting look about him. I played up the high contrast in his coloring and captured the shimmering quality of the skin highlights. I kept the edges sharp and surrounded him with the color of cool air, the palest yellow-tinged turquoise. The effect is intensely lifelike and rather mesmerizing.

I’m always trying to achieve a certain realism in my paintings while also creating a sense of mood and an inner life. This painting really got there for me, like having someone fascinating in the room and I was happy that others felt that energy too. I was excited that it sold quickly but sad to see him go at the same time.