09 April 2016

Getting Under the Skin

Viewers frequently tell me that they feel a depth of emotion when they look at one of my portrait pieces.  They say they believe I've captured a mood or the essence of the subject beneath the surface.  

I'm quite gratified by these reactions since getting beyond a mere photographic reproduction of the subject is precisely what I strive for.  I'll use one of my early paintings as an illustration that I feel makes this point succinctly:

Acrylic on canvas board

Those who listen to jazz know well the name and music of Chet Baker.  During the 1950s, his trumpet playing and singing fueled great success.  
"Jazz historian David Gelly described the promise of Baker's early career as 'James DeanSinatra, and Bix, rolled into one.'"

Sadly, Baker's well-publicized use of drugs and subsequent run-ins with the law also propelled his fame.  And, by the time he enjoyed a resurgence in his career and died tragically at the age of fifty-eight, life had taken its toll.  

My aim in this painting was, through the use of color and texture using a dry brush, to convey the depth of his yearning, the passion of his music and the scars he bore upon his soul in later years.  

If viewers can sense those things, then I've succeeded.  I can do no more.

What are readers saying about my brother's chilling debut novel?

"This one delivers."  CE, Illinois

"An amazing tale!"  ML, Georgia

"A thrill all the way to the end!"  LS, Arizona

No comments: