Friday, September 26, 2008

Portraits and the Sitter

An issue facing every portrait painter is the acceptance by the sitter of the finished result.

A recent article in the New York Sun by the London Daily Telegraph writer Neil Tweedie neatly sums up this dilemma.

Tweedie outlines various past and recent, famous and less famous portrait painters who have faced this situation. For some the subject just destroyed the work so others should not see it. For others, they eventually learned to lived with the finished painting.

I have just received back a portrait painting that I gave to a couple to celebrate their wedding. The wife has requested that I rework her nose.

I have another portrait that hangs near my studio awaiting the sitter to return for a final sitting. In this case the sitter is embarrassed that I chose him as a subject and so far has not been brave enough to view the nearly completed work.

The dilemmas of a portrait painter.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

After the Tour.

Well the Open Studios Tour is over. The summaries written and mailed in. And I am uncertain if it all was worth while.

Saturday we had only ten people come by. On Sunday twenty-nine. And that includes friends, family, and neighbors who saw my signs and dropped by. About of a third of the visitors were other artists who wanted to see how I do things.

There were no sales (I had some eighty paintings on show). There were three people who were serious enough to ask about prices. At least one of which seemed very interested in a specific painting.

Several of my visitors told me other artists they had visited had complained about the few visitors. Since the tour I have talked to several other artists who say they found the attendance thin.
Maybe it is a sign of the times. There has been a lot written recently about the slowness of the art market.

The general tour promotion seemed very good. I cannot suggest where improvements might be made. Even the reception was well attended, though I am not sure that I saw any serious buyers or collectors.

It takes a lot of work to put on such an event. At the moment I am discouraged about doing it again. But who knows how I will feel in six to nine months time.