Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Chriss Sutherland Portrait Update

Chriss Sutherland sat for me for 2-3 hours at the start of his portrait and I've been using my photographs that I took of him posing in my studio to fine tune the drawing. I have always resisted using photographs in the past and still feel a bit wary of this process. I am pretty much finished with the portrait itself, and will start collaging and drawing in some of the following imagery that Chriss has given to me to weave into his portrait. He writes:

Two of the attachments are pictures of me in different states of action or inaction. One is a photo of a shadow of the Cerberus Shoal van ripping through Wyoming. One is a newpaper photo of a hero of mine, a Flamenco singer named Camaron de la Isla. Finally... a portrait of Molly and I taken by my brother. Use all or none of these as you like.

The name of my new record is going to be "Worried Love" so maybe that will lead you somewhere as well.

Chriss and his fiance, Molly Angie



inaction hero?

Here (also) is a small portrait of Alicante, which is the city in Spain where I lived for the most part of 2006-07. Maybe the colors will inspire you.

So! I have much rich imagery to work with! I will be back in my studio after Christmas break to complete all 4 of the portraits that I am currently working on. As I've been working on Chriss's portrait, I've seen my brother's face emerging - my dark haired, dark bearded, hazel eyed brother Ken. Maybe this is one of the dangers of working from photographs (I'm being very judgmental by describing this process as dangerous. Perhaps I should reword this...)

Maybe this is one of the serendipitous things that can occur when working from photographs. Faces that are etched in memory seep into the process - familiar faces - and portraits become composite faces.

Me and my brother Kenny, on the left, with our sisters Sue, Amy and Debby, and Kenny's "little brother" Albert at Albert's birthday party in April, 1972. Ken worked for Big Brothers in RI for several years, and at Ladd School, an institution for folks with special needs, where Albert lived.

Ken with Albert.

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