Friday, January 16, 2009

An amazing opportunity!

I am honored to have recently been permitted a portrait sitting with Congressman Bart Stupak. I have run across many instances of artists who have taken the liberty of painting a well-known person's portrait without permission and I have mixed emotions about this. Although in my early years of portrait study, my naivetée beckoned me to paint anyone and anything just to get the practice, I have become much more aware of the personal nature of painting someone's likeness. I now believe it is important and necessary to get their permission before doing it.

Which brings me to today's painting. This is not about politics. Mr. Stupak represents my area of Michigan, and I have had several opportunities to meet him in person. He was genuinely interested in my work as an artist. At one point I suggested that perhaps some day he would allow me the honor of painting his portrait, explaining that I still consider myself to be in the learning stages. He was extremely gracious, and generous with his time. I am now in the process of painting a full-body corporate portrait of him as a result of our initial sitting. This vignette was painted alla-prima as a study for the larger painting. To be permitted to paint a portrait of a well-known senior congressman is about the most exciting thing that has happened to me as an artist. Thank you, Mr. Stupak!

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