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Roddy

Ed Szeminsky ,Chef and co-owner of Dame

Ed Szeminsky ,Chef and co-owner of Dame

Dr Ronn Yedidia, pianist and composer

Dr Ronn Yedidia, pianist and composer

Leon, my hubsnd

Leon Axel

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Morgan, my French Horn Tutor

 Sincere  eye contact is somewhat rare in the 21st century.  There is little that a portrait artist can accomplish without such communication  with the subject. My posthumous portrait of Leonard Bernstein was an exception to my requirement of this fundamental human experience .   A portrait is a window into a  time, place, and personal affect; recording interaction between two people. 

~ please click on a thumbnail to view a larger size  ~

The Pandemic has uprooted everyone’s lives,  and altered the relationship between sitter and artist. I cannot simply invite people to come to my studio to sit for a portrait, even if they have been vaccinated. Portrait subjects can meet me via Zoom or video, to help supplement photos. There are ways to communicate virtually, even for a painted portrait. Just as snapshots  document events  of everyday life, painted portraits illuminate  the artist’s interpretation of a communication over an extended time with the person being portrayed. More than just a physical record of  appearance, the painted portrait  captures the character and personality of the person being portrayed. These qualities are  essential to creating a painting of a particular person at a particular time.  My friend and fellow artist, Vincent Desiderio, has said “An artist must have ice water in his/her veins”,  This is particularly true of the portrait artist.   The challenge of creating a portrait is not just to accurately capture the shapes and forms of his/her face, but to somehow evoke the person behind the face; this can only come about through an interaction between artist and subject, even if it is mediated by virtual means. The artist’s initial conception of what the picture will look like is often changed (and deepened) by this interaction.