Portrait of D.P (Work in Progress)
Excerpt from letter to D.P.-
As you are aware, you commissioned me to make a portrait of you.
As is my usual style I held a kind of dialogue with the piece as it came into being. That will probably seem a little strange to you but maybe I can explain a little. When I am working I have a collection of typewriters where I record important or interesting ideas that occur to me. In some way you might imagine that I have had many more conversations with you than you could possibly know…or at least with this effigy I have made, which shared my home during a difficult period of transition. I have used some of the notes in this letter so please excuse the style if it seems a little piece-meal. Overleaf you will find two of the working images in digital format.
Somewhere I think I may have lost the absolute likeness of you, and another sitting would have been ideal, but, after all, we are capturing a moment in time, and in this one came from when I was completely bought and sold in terms of what I had to do to achieve to reach my goals.
So for me it… became more about my idea of you, somewhat generic, but filled with correct intent.
I’ve purposefully been a bit kinder with some aspects because none of us like to grow older and we each seem to imagine ourselves as who we were when we were at the height of our physical power, and anyway, this is the way I perceive you – golden skinned and smiling.
In any case, you will know if it is a painting you feel comfortable with & it is important that I don’t indulge myself by apologizing for any mediocrity.
For your interest, I have enclosed some shots of only reasonable quality of the work in progress, (–no final shot, sorry.), and the circumstances under which it was achieved, because in the end, as I tried to finish my various projects, I was simply too pre-occupied to let anyone visit.
The portrait began as a large charcoal sketch, which you can see here in the first shot. It shows how the sealing process leached some of the sections around the mouth and lips but ultimately will ensure the longevity of the portrait. In the second photo you will see a rather golden version, which has underpainting. This was later followed with a long series of thin translucent washes so I could achieve the glow of your skin whilst retaining a little of the charcoal feeling as per your preference. The final piece is a translucent oil painting done on fine quality canvas on a robust stretcher. It measures about 1700mm x 1700mm – if my memory serves me correctly.