My oil paintings are often described as dreamscapes or Contemporary Impressionism. I am always trying to create work that allows people to lose themselves within it, letting their minds wander and perhaps recognising things from their own experiences, dreams or memories.
Recently I have been looking at works by some of my favourite artists who although are more well known for painting abstracts, landscapes , surrealism, cubism have all painted portraits of women. They are all men who have painted women in fact.
Portraiture is an art genre that I have never experimented with but fascinates me. Photographs present an exact replica of a person but a painted portrait is poetical and generalises a specific person in an imaginative and instructive way.
Oscar Wilde said:
“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself.”
This is so true of these beautiful portraits:
Claude Monet, Woman Seated on a Bench
“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.”
― Claude Monet
“Creativity takes courage. ”
― Henri Matisse
Gerhard Richter, Kl. Badende
“Picturing things, taking a view, is what makes us human; art is making sense and giving shape to that sense.”
Edgar Degas -The Impressionist Ballet dancers
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”
― Edgar Degas
Pablo Picasso Portrait of Françoise Gilot
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
― Pablo Picasso
Paul Klee – Sealed woman
“One eye sees, the other feels.”
― Paul Klee
Vincent van Gogh, Portrait of Adeline Ravoux
“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”
― Vincent Van Gogh
“I could paint for a hundred years, a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing.”
I think this final quote is the one which most resonates with me!
Which portrait is your favourite?