Friday, October 25, 2013

Two Minutes More

Two minutes more this morning and it looks like a third
is needed. T. Jefferson didn't have a clef lower lip.




Well enough alone perhaps? --But the Jabbo interested me.
Portrait artists of the seventeenth and eighteenth century were a whiz with clothing and fabric textures, items I never spent much time with in art college. In art college everybody was naked.  It looks like I thinned TJ out the two minutes I spent this morning passing through the studio to get the salmon out for dinner out of the freezer.

I like doing studies of historical figures in their youth. Jefferson wasn't all that young when this first portrait was done.  He was forty four, but Mather's painting was the first painting we had.  Jefferson's  political career began when he was 25 and elected to the Virginia House of Burgess.  The day he took his seat for the very first time, the house was absolved.  Patrick Henry has said some treasonous things days before and  the Brits thought this assembly should be allowed no longer.  Thus all Americans' Right to Assembly.  It is disappointing when you go to work and you find you have no job.

Good looking guy!  Romantic fiigure.  BUT:  a cad.  He pursued his best friends wife while his best friend was off on some sort of lengthy expedition. She strongly refused his advances, but Tom persisted. When her husband returned, she told her husband she did not want Thomas Jefferson to be executor of her husband's will; she never told him why. Thomas was about 24.  They didn't tell you shite like this in high school. If they had, we might have paid attention.

12 comments:

  1. I agree, he's a good looking guy. Amazing what you can do in two minutes!

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    1. Yes, but only because you spent 30 observing common points. This is as far as I want to go. On to the next.

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  2. It's funny how we see things differently when we walk by and stare a little. I find the opinions on what I do change from day to day. Love. Hate. Like. Dislike. So, this is charcoal - couldn't you just take one finger and - swoosh, smooth out the black separation in the lower lip and voila! no cleft? I think it looks excellent by the way in just about every way. That cad!! (He is by far my favorite president - with vast abilities seems to come an enormous sense of self-worth - vanity - and actions like this. If only it were not so.)

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    1. That swipe is exactly what will happen Dan. Then a whoosh of fixative and tear it off the pad and move on. I haven't read all the Presidents yet, so I couldn't say who was a favorite or tell you why. So far in my reading, I like Washington's attitude his first term; he selected men from both ideologies-- Federalist and Democratic Republicans--not that those names were official as yet. Second term, he eliminated the squabbling and his cabinet as comprised of Federalists. Though he preferred to be known as politically neutral, he favored Federalist doctrine--standing army, (of course, given his experiences with desertion in the revolution), a Federal Bank, taxation and tariffs on foreign goods. When he became President, he started wearing only American made textiles, whereas before all his clothing was made in England. Some how Jackie Kennedy comes to mind when it comes to what people in high office and positions wear. She was chastised for her preference for French couturier and did change her wardrobe to only American.

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  3. You have knocked some years off of him, in those two minutes.

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    1. I did smooth out his wrinkles. Now I just have to wipe his mouth. :-))

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  4. I find it terribly clever of you I do it you're not following hugs Danielle

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    1. I don't know about clever. Whether you're copying one of Sargent's high society pals or a historic figure painted by another master, you are drawing--observing and recording forms, albeit shapes, lights and darks and midtones, structures. You are honing skills. Important stuff to stay in the game.

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  5. I stared at it for about five minutes. I keep focusing on the mouth. There is something there not Jeffersonian.

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    1. Yes indeed, a black blob. No one named Thomas Jefferson would be seen in public with a black blob on his lip.

      The great thing about posting work is that often things show up in the translation that you couldn't see when you were in the work. Even when presented as finished pieces, I've noticed a this or that that needed a tweak, so I tweak and never show the finally finished work. I get to do that because I don't use the blog for selling--more for artistic journaling and scrutiny. It's a tool.

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  6. Love your charcoal portraits! This is super good...even with the lip issue. Yeahhhhh Thomas Jefferson really enjoyed himself while on planet earth. That's what I heard. Didn't seem to distract from his overall contribution. I guess men who are (apparently) flawed can also do good things. Like Teddy Kennedy and Medicare. :) Looking forward to your next thing! :)

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    1. Thanks. Charcoal is the best medium for getting down the most information in the least amount of time. A too dark spot on a lip is a finger print away from being just right--I just have to have a need to go down to the freezer. :-)).

      Jefferson's morals were really questionable on that one. The lady's husband was JT's boyhood friend, college roommate, neighbor and best friend, a political colleague. Before he left on his excursion, he had made JT executor of his will, which meant take care of his family if anything happened to him in the wilderness. Jefferson betrayed a close friend's trust by chasing his wife. --He lost Washington's respect too later on in the political arena. There's more to be known about our handsome third President. I'll keep reading.

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