Tell you what, portrait painting can drive you NUTS!!
After the marathon struggle, and still on the easel, it all looks so ‘perfect’. Then comes The Assessment….when the ‘finished’ work is propped up on the dining room sideboard for another look in a different light. Can be devastating! As well as ego shattering.
….And then comes the process of ‘adjusting’, which can sometimes take longer, and be much more harrowing than the initial time of genuine fun and exhilaration in the studio….because, of course, the portrait must be perfectly balanced, otherwise one eye can look like it is on some sort of stick, and projecting about a metre or so in front of the other….or the nose resemble that of the old rhinocerus!
…..And the worst thing I can do is to ask my lovely Stan to tell me what is ‘wrong’….which he does….because he has a terrifyingly savage eye for detail and accuracy!…Which of course really does nail it…but then again it means still more problems to solve!
…..And then I think, ‘Well, I’m happy with it now’, and up it goes on social media, or taken to the gallery, and therefore exposed to more critical scrutiny. Ego all but non existent by then.
…..And then months later, you revisit…and again, horrors, horrors, why didn’t I see that before?? And it’s all a bit too late now, because the painting is invariably in another state, or on the other side of the planet, hanging on somebody’s wall, AND THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT !!
And so why do I keep torturing myself? Because I am totally hooked, absolutely obsessed….and wouldn’t have it any other way….