Fuchsia

Fuchsia

Trumpet flowers

Trumpet flowers

Leaf

Leaf

Calla lilies

Calla lilies

Trees

Trees

Great blue heron

Great blue heron

Face

Face

Crow

Crow

Hands

Hands

The end

The end

It was a rush to the finish, but I did complete this project by the end of the year as I had hoped.  Time for new projects in 2017.

 

Happy New Year!

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Self-portrait of Chuck Close

Self-portrait of Chuck Close

I aspire to paint portraits someday, so I was thrilled to learn of the Chuck Close exhibit at the Schack Art Center in Everett, a city just 30 minutes north of Seattle.  I discovered that seeing his work in person is much more revealing of his techniques than seeing his work reproduced in books.  How creative is his vision!  Looking up close, you can see the myriad marks and dabs and even fingerprints that looked at from afar form recognizable faces.  It is magical.

“Painting is the most magical of mediums.  The transcendence is truly amazing to me every time I go to a museum and I see how somebody figured another way to rub colored dirt on a flat surface and make space where there is no space or make you think of a life experience.”
— Chuck Close

Chuck Close exhibit at the Schack Art Center

Chuck Close exhibit at the Schack Art Center

“In my art, I deconstruct and then I reconstruct, so visual perception is one of my primary interests.”
— Chuck Close

Chuck Close exhibit, Schack Art Center

Chuck Close exhibit, Schack Art Center

Portrait made of tiny colored dots

Portrait made of tiny colored dots

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I think portraits are fascinating.  It seems universally agreed that eyes and faces are the mirrors of the soul, so there are layers of meaning beyond physical resemblances.  What face(s) do you present to the world?  What anyone sees seems a bit of a mystery.

“The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart.”
— St. Jerome

“God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.”
— William Shakespeare

” . . . every portrait 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.”
— Oscar Wilde, from The Picture of Dorian Gray

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This portrait of Lesley was composed of inked fingerprints.

This portrait of Lesley was composed of inked fingerprints.

Detail showing fingerprints

Detail showing fingerprints

What do Close’s portraits reveal about himself?  His unique vision is shaped in some manner by what he calls his “learning disabilities.”  He says, “I think I was driven to paint portraits to commit images of friends and family to memory.  I have face blindness, and once a face is flattened out, I can remember it better.”

I think his portrait of Georgia was one of my favorites in this exhibition:

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Like his name suggests, one ought to look “close” and then not-so-close to experience the wonder of his works.