Monthly Archives: August 2010
I have been working on the last part of the family portrait suite. I started by covering the entire surface with black, which created a very nice structure. Then I spontaneously struggled to find the face. It is like learning to see – by going back and forth I am slowly becoming aware of the characteristics of the face. The first layer was done in light grey, diluted with a lot of oil.
The plan was to add several thin layers and keep searching for the face. In the process I have only made a few meassurements to check the position of the eyes, the nostrils, and the mouth.
After letting the paint dry, I continued with more white, and a touch of light red, adding a bit of black in the dark parts. I worked quickly and without thinking too much, moving about in a pretty irrational way – a little here, a little there.
Suddenly I felt there was a quality of the work that I did not want to eliminate by working too much, so I decided to take a break and check with the family how they felt about the piece. I was a bit nervous as I was wondering if they would think the painting was too rough and not exact.
On the contrary, they felt I had been able to capture his attitude and they could immediately see their son in the work. Needless to say, I was quite pleased.
Slow process in the studio right now. Yesterday I visited Louisiana and Ordrupgaard in Denmark. It is good to get some new inspiration and ideas…
I left some of the white paint untouched in the lower left corner. When you look at the painting from an angle, it almost looks like glare. Now it seems like the face is appearing or disappearing in fog or something. Maybe the face is being forgotten?
It is an interesting face, as it partly looks Asian. I think I will be returning to this face more than once.