Friday, December 30, 2011

A portrait is a luxury work of art.

A fine art portrait is not a photograph. It is not a painting of a photograph.
A high quality painted portrait is indeed a work of art.

A true work of art has inherent esthetic qualities that make it unique. Although the definition of a portrait is that it must portray a likeness, it must have other qualities to be considered fine art. It must have carefully orchestrated artistic elements like design, composition, values, color and, most of all, an expression of an idea that expresses the essence of the subject.

Unfortunately, many in the public view likeness of the subject as the end-all in a painted portrait. Not so. Of course a likeness is essential, but unless the painting goes beyond likeness there is no real artistic value to the painting. The most disappointing compliment I often hear from visitors to my studio is, "Wow, that looks just like a photograph." Not what I want to hear. Although such a comment is intended to be a compliment, it really is not. A good compliment would be something like, "Wow, that looks so much better than a photograph." Now, you're talking.

Another key ingredient of a work of art is that it is the expression of the artist. Every artist has a unique and special point of view. Every artist brings a set of experiences, skill and perspectives to the painting he or she creates. I lead group of painters who meet once a week to paint from a single posed model. It never ceases to amaze how totally different each artist sees and expresses the subject. All capture a likeness, but beyond that the styles are totally different and the results are totally different.

So, when commissioning a painted portrait, your expectations should be to  an artist to express your likeness in his or her very special style. You can get an idea of how the styling may turn out by looking at previous works by the artist. But, give the artist permission to create the best painting (work of art) that is possible, and you'll get the best possible results.
Betty Jo and Buddy
Oil on canvas, 40” x 30”
This painting has an inherent luxurious feel in its staging and portrayal of the elegant lady it depicts. The selection of furniture, the touch of an elegantly framed painting in the background, the plush white arctic fox coat, gloves and jewelry add up to a luxurious expression of elegance.

Oil on canvas, 20” x 16”
This painting was commissioned as a tribute to the wife of a prominent doctor who is known for her work with women’s charities. Julie is a strikingly elegant person with terrific poise and style. I chose the full front view to best capture her emblematic serious, yet warm gaze.

Oil on canvas, 40” x 30”
Ann lives in a beautiful Texas Hill Country home that is filled with luxurious antiques and beautiful adornments. This painting adds a touch of elegance to her collection of artistic home amenities. The pose was staged backlit from just inside her imposing deck where you can view a panorama of the rolling Texas hills. The seated pose, with her dark dress, projects her very grounded personality and the flair that comes with being the “lady of the ranch.”

A work of art is indeed a luxury, something that is valuable and beyond day-to-day essentials; something that adds pleasure and quality to your life, but is not absolutely necessary. Or is it? The quality of your life has much to do with the choices you make and the values you place on beautiful things. But, such items need not be expensive, something that adds value to your life is a bargain at any price.

Give us a call and discover how inexpensive a luxurious portrait can be. For more information and more samples of my work go to:

Visit our studio in historic downtown Plano
1013 15th Place St. 100
Plano, Texas 75074
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