When I was around nine or ten I remember working furiously on the portrait of a celebrity.
I was lost in my work until one my siblings happened by.
“Who is THAT?” they said.
“Farrah Fawcett,” I replied.
“WHAT?! That doesn’t look ANYTHING like her!”
I responded, “I appreciate your candor, loved one. This work is in its early stages. I would be most grateful if you reserved judgement for the final rendering.”
Or… I may have torn it up.
It was one of those responses. Hard to remember, really.
I have had a fear of portraits as I suppose many artists do.
The likeness thing is tricky. You think you have it one minute then you erase something by mistake. Four hours later it starts to look like one of the Simpsons.
Do something everyday that scares you is a piece of advice included in many ‘How to Live Your Life’ lists floating around on the internet.
When I started working on a portrait of Finn, I felt I was checking that off the list.
Though I have to admit it lessened when Finn happened by and commented,
“Hey Daddoo that’s me! What am I doing in there?”
If I needed a litmus test that was it.
A friend recently visiting my studio commented, “He’s immortalized now.”
Which got me thinking......
We use that word when referring to someone preserved in art,
but less often when referring to eternalized fears or thought patterns we immortalize in our head.
In a way the creation of one (the art) became the undoing or de-immortalization of the other (the fear).
Maybe by doing this I de-immortalized the fear of it.
At least for the time being.
I don’t know. How many portraits does it take to unscrew a light bulb?