In the same way the sky is a canvas for the paintbrush of the cosmos, the face is the canvas for the paintbrush of a soul. The sight of the face of a loved one can bring profound healing and comfort, and there’s something about pastels that can truly evoke the satin texture of skin, hair, or fur as the case may be. Working with portraits is tricky, but very fulfilling. The deviation of a single line, a single flash of color in the iris, can be the difference between a true likeness and the face of a stranger.
Commissioned portraits are challenging in this way- how do you know the unknown? And yet sometimes the friends of known subjects, like friends, family, coworkers- can be even more daunting, to clear away my preconceptions and commune with the shape of the light falling across the topography of their nose, their cheekbone.
Recreating the mood that my subject brings in is an adventure. Subtle threads of joy, anger, sadness, fear, ennui, curiosity, et al. weave and blend like an intangible rainbow that lingers just outside the boundary of perception. The magic that happens when the subject communicates with me and really comes alive. It’s another miracle; and it does happen.