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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ellis and Me, Second Pass

Ellis and Me, Second Pass.  I think I got the twinkle in his eye
and his smirky smile, but his face doesn't look lean enough.
Something about the ear?

Ellis and Me, First Pass in charcoal
Thoughts that ran through my head this afternoon while trying to get a better likeness of Ellis:  I waited too long to come back to art to find my artistic voice. Who would have suspected at seventeen that portraiture would turn out to be the genre that interests me the most? I certainly didn't.  All I knew about art at that age was that I did have a gift and I didn't like painting still lifes or flowers, the subjects they put before you in the art classes in high school.  Now, decades later,  I discover this fascination.  I really do not find the muses amusing at all!  Nevertheless, back nine or not, one battles on for the joy of the challenge.

With another challenge in front of me, I spent the morning cooking lentil spaghetti sauce in bulk--two big batches to make ten easy dinners for Ellis and me after the surgery.  When he came into lunch, I started explaining that all he would have do is defost the sauce, heat it in the microwave and  boil up the spaghetti.  He said, "I don't cook. I clean."  A picture flashed through my head of me draining the noodles while trying to balance myself with the walker. Forty  years ago, I would have hit the ceiling, not today.  He's a big talker who is crazy about me and forgets I have the upper hand. I could leave him looking like Walter Matheau--or Carl Malden-- for some archeologist to discover centuries from now. Instead, I chose to pull Ellis out of the smears and smudges of charcoal on archival paper. He's not quite there yet. I've got the twinkle in his eyes and his tight lipped smile, but he is a tad thinner than this guy.  So tomorrow...

HISTORY NOTE:  George Washington was an odd guy.  He wanted to be President, but he didn't want people to know he wanted to be president; he wanted to be coaxed, to be convinced he was the best man for the job; it was ungentlemanlike to appear ambitious in 1788. The people thought he was the best guy for three reasons: 1) he was the war hero; 2) he had willingly turned in his sword and given up his position as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army when the war ended; and 3) most importantly, he had no children of his own.  If he had had kids,[John Hancock] might have been the first president of the United States. After British rule, the people were afraid of establishing a monarchy in this country. They wanted a Republic.  In 1788, the Constitution was ratified by the thirteen states, now a strong leader was needed to activate it.  George  was talked into taking the job because he was a patriot and couldn't say no to supporting and initiating  the constitution he helped write.


  1. Wowee, LOVE IT! Did you take the photo specifically for the painting? It is a gem, but you do make life difficult with the foreshortening. No problem though, is it. You are where it took me ten years to get to!

    1. Thanks dear friend. I do pick'em don't I? It's the tough poses that interest me unfortunately. They always take a second and third and maybe more passes till they sit right--maybe it's because we had such sleepy models in life drawing that we always looked up to? The poses changed, but the perspective never.

  2. What a pleasure to examine this Lovely painting Linda! You're quite good with portraits and this one is real special. Your smiles are winners! Have a great weekend.