"The Red Beret", 12x16, oil on linen
I started painting about 5 years ago after moving to Florida from Pennsylvania, where I had had a successful career in both real estate and the performing arts. After I moved here I had some free time on my hands and so I decided to do something that I had always wanted to do from the time I was a little child-paint! So I picked up some inexpensive watercolor paints and played around a bit. After a couple months I moved over to oils and decided to sign up for some lessons at a local art guild. One thing led to the next and before I knew it, I was winning awards and getting juried into national competitions.
My desire to paint has dwindled significantly in the past six months. A combination of things has put painting and artistic endeavors on a back burner.
It is funny how quickly you can lose confidence when you stop doing something that you think that you know how to do.
I have been struggling of late to find stimulating subject matter to paint and to find the incentive to paint-period. I have painted all subjects-landscapes, portraits and still lifes, and I can't really say I like one genre more than another. It all depends on my mood. Today I went through some reference photos that I had in my art file. This file contains photos I had taken of subjects that I had hoped to paint one day. Out of the thick stack I pulled out a photo of a man who had posed for a workshop that I took about three years ago with fabulous figurative artist Rob Liberace. As a new painter, I was probably the least experienced person in the class. That being said, Liberace was a grand teacher- and at the end of the workshop I felt like I had learned a good bit about portraiture in spite of my lack of experience.
There were three models during the workshop and we rotated positions throughout the three days. I never had a chance to paint the man with the distinctive features and the red beret and I was a bit disappointed. He obliged when I asked if I could take his photo, and when I pulled it out of the file last week something clicked inside my brain. I felt that although I was not painting from life, he would be fun and challenging for me to paint after being rather unproductive for almost 6 months now.
Unfortunately I cannot remember the man's name, but if he ever happens to read this blog, thanks so much for the opportunity. You have a very interesting face carved with years of thoughfulness and life's varied experiences. The painting was done over the course of a few days and I think it is turned out to be a good study.