Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"100 Faces, No. 60"

4 x 4"
oil on masonite

The only way to enjoy painting portraits, I'm convinced, is to not be commissioned to do them. Not that there's anything wrong with that - it's been a valid, desired and lucrative way to make a living for many an artist. But I learned a long time ago, people don't see themselves as others do. And that made for tweaking and beautifying to satisfy the client - and I'd rather not go there.

During my short stint as an art major student, some thirty years ago, I was thrilled when the life-drawing models were everything but beautiful. Give me the morbidly obese, the curmudgeons, the weathered faces. Warts and all. All those imperfections drive me.

When I was about halfway through this painting, I kept thinking her face is too small. But it wasn't me - it was the truth. She has a tiny head, with a whole lotta hair. Naturally I'm inclined to correct that, make it more proportionally correct - but it is what it is. And I love that about these studies. In this series, you'll see crooked eyes, oddly longer noses or dominating foreheads - all those things that make us unique, special and human.


S.G. Chipman said...

Well said, I couldn't agree more. I draw a lot of children's portraits, some commission, some just to fill out the portfolio, and frankly find their cherub like cuteness tiresome to draw. Give me a haggard, cranky face any day. It makes the pencil work so much more fun.

Love this series, by the way. Wonderful stuff.

Unknown said...

Here, here! Give me a face w/ some character/imperfections to paint any day over a face that is by society's standards "beautiful."

I did caricatures as a summer job when I was in college & found that most people don't actually want to be exaggerated- they want to be made into a cuter/cartoon version of themselves.

I am really enjoying this series. Each painting exudes a personality.

Kathy Cousart said...

Well said... and for anyone who knows you even a little bit... totally Karin Jurick. What we love about you and your artwork is that honesty. You capture that in your paintings and that is why you are successful.
You just keep it up- the art world needs you:)

JAllgood said...

Oh, the beauty of those human imperfections! I couldn't agree with you more.

I am really enjoying these 100 Faces and just wanted to let you know you are inspiring me to take on a "100 of" project myself.
Thank you!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I agree with your 'no nonsense' approach with these portraits.
One only has to take a look at 'PEOPLE' magazine, where you can't tell one young star from another for the bland 'same' face, hair, clothing etc.. to see what societies' standards are for human 'beauty'.
These are the everyday average faces which is what makes them dramatic portraits.

Anonymous said...

"I've never met a person I couldn't call a beauty."
Andy Warhol