WHY DO I PAINT PORTRAITS?
"A portrait is not just an image of someone. It is also about feelings and thoughts."
Portraits and figure representations have been a recurrent subject for hundreds of years, or should I say thousands of years! As explained on this article found on the Tate website, portraiture has been around for a very long time and although its purpose and meaning have evolved over the centuries, it is still an immense source of inspiration for many artists nowadays. I’m definitely one of them!
I’ve been in love with drawing and painting faces since as far as I can remember. And to be honest I’ve never really tried to understand why. Why do I love painting faces so much rather than a bunch of fruits on a table or the view from my window?
When I was young, my dad was used to draw academic faces and bodies and let me add the colours. I was loving it! And i guess it was my introduction to use human figures as an art subject. I also remember very clearly the wooden drawing mannequin he was using to later teach me proportions. I was mesmerised by this little man! Although he didn’t make it his career, my dad was an accomplished painter and sculptor, and I can’t thank him enough for passing on his knowledge to me. It most certainly had a huge influence on me. But surely, there is more to it…
“And painted portraits have a life of their own that comes from deep in the soul of the painter and where the machine can’t go.” Vincent Van Gogh
"A face can tell a thousand stories..."
I find it hard to explain to someone else why you love something. When you love someone or something you don’t really wonder why, you just do! It’s only when you get asked the question that you must dig into your psyche to try and comprehend it in order to give an answer that will hopefully make sense to others.
After unconsciously digging into my brain (and trust me there is a lot going on in there!), I think the main reason why I love painting faces is because they are a perfect and beautiful way to share feelings.
We can all identify to each other. We all have the same features, 2 eyes, a nose, and a mouth, regardless of our gender, faith, age, or background and yet, each of us is so unique. The infinity of emotions that we can communicate through those basic features is fascinating to me.
It’s not about painting eyes, noses, and mouths. A portrait is not just an image of someone, it is also about thoughts and feelings. It’s capturing individuals representationally but most importantly emotionally. Faces are like windows that are used to convey emotions and tell stories.To paint portraits and figures is a way to consider what it means to be human and to understand how what we display on the outside can reveal who we are on the inside.
I’m not specifically looking at getting an accurate representation of the person and the references are a starting point. What I’m interested in, is the emotions I perceive through them and how i can blend them in my work.
There is a fantastic energy occurring there!
The art of communicating!
It might not be obvious when you meet me, but I am quite shy. I’m an introvert but i’m good at hiding it! I’m an over thinker. I like to intellectualise things and find depth in my interaction with the world. What’s more intriguing than the human soul!?
Painting others is not only a way for me to communicate and interact with them. It is equally to reflect on and understand humanity as an entity.
So, I guess my passion for human figures, ultimately and simply, comes down to the need to connect and share with other beings! Maybe it is as simple as that!
“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture Of Dorian Gray