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

Portrait Study of a Young Woman – sold

vanessacam (2)

Oil on canvas, 12″x9″

In this study I wanted to work on a classic portrait while exploring cool skin tones and looser brushwork. I also wanted to change things up a bit from my more stylized portraits based on black and white photos of ladies from long ago. I found some lovely violets and blues in this portrait of a beautiful dark haired girl with almost translucent skin. The result is a contemporary realist portrait with a lively surface quality and casual elegance.

When I look at my work in retrospect I realize that I favor painting faces and figures but I don’t always have the most consistent style. This is considered a bad thing in the art world but I draw upon different inspirations and get bored painting the same way over and over. It would be nice to have a distinct and recognizable look. I’m hopeful a strong visual identity will emerge in time even if I don’t exactly know how that happens.

Young Man Sleeping – sold

LucasSleepadjOil on Canvas, 8″x10″

Focusing on small moments is one of the joys of painting. Capturing the light falling across a face, enhancing the feeling of a scene with well chosen brushstrokes. A photo can freeze a point in time but painting breathes a special kind of life into it. Or at least that’s the goal…you can also paint something to death. Finding that delicate balance where I’ve achieved my vision without pushing over the edge into a labored abyss is sweet.

Buy with PayPal

Sargent Study: Olimpio Fusco – sold

 

Olimpio Fusco

Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas, 10″x8″

I believe in learning from the best and John Singer Sargent is one of the great masters of portrait and figurative work. This is a study with a twist; the original portrait was a drawing but I used oil on canvas based on what I imagined a Sargent oil study of this model would look like. A fun exercise and it really made me think about Sargent’s flesh palette and brushwork.