From early 2012 to mid-2014, the desire to paint completely left me, and I thought that I was finished as an artist. However, in 2014 I was suddenly, surprisingly struck by the inspiration to paint portraits. I wanted to see as deeply as I could into the faces of people who I am in some way inspired by, and try to capture their essence, both individual and universal, into paint. I was lucky enough to find wonderful friends willing to pose for me. Since then, painting portraits has been continually exciting and amazing for me and has only revealed more depths to explore. I realize now that the depth offered in portraiture is endless, just as the depth in each person is endless.
I take photographs of my models and use that to paint from, but photo-realism is not my goal. Even though my paintings are realistic, I agree with Matisse that exactitude is not truth. My intention is to see the truth in the photograph and paint that so the painting becomes more real than the photograph, and as real as possible.
Photographs of my portraits unfortunately don’t capture their presence. The paint is very thick, and that adds a depth that doesn't come through in the photograph. I hope to eventually show the paintings, so they can be seen in person. Also, the maturation of the portraits over time has been one of the fascinating aspects for me in this series, so showing them together, chronologically, will be an important part of the exhibit.
I would like to add that I am so thankful to all of my models, as I know it takes real courage to allow oneself to be truly seen. It was a joy and an honor to paint each of you.