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.

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