Break: out, away, up, with and from

This week, let’s take a break from portraiture. I’m not finished with the copy of the Zorn portrait on which I have been laboring, but I don’t think I ever will finish it up to the point where Cameron will accept it as “90%”. Ninety percent is the goal, he says, because 100% would be inhuman. Yes, you guessed it–despite my hope that I was done with the Zorn last week, we spent another three hours on our respective assignments in class, and I tinkered with small adjustments over the weekend. But today I will spare you yet another version of The Head. You have been so patient. (If it reaches 87%, I will post it again; the judgement will occur later today.)

Unfortunately, I have little else to show for my week– one appealing deer head painted from a wildlife photo while waiting for customers who never came — customers who were supposed to be clamoring for quickie portraits done in oil as Christmas presents for their loved ones. Either the advertising campaign fell completely on its face or there is no demand out there for pet portraits. Believing the latter to be false (judging from my own likes), I assume the former to be true. Hmmm, come to think of it, I did not even publicize it through my blog.

The only other event of note was the critique offered at the NH Institute of Art for its continuing education students, of which I am one by virtue of the oft-mentioned course with Cameron Bennett. I carried in three landscapes and three of the recent portraits done for Cameron, desiring to find out if I should vigorously pursue the portrait direction, or ease off the portraits and concentrate on the landscapes. I chose three landscapes that are among my personal favorites–the one that leads off this blog entry (“Griffin Mill Falls”, 8×10) and the two below.

Venite, 10×12 Sunlight on the Pemi, 9×12

The three portraits were the Zorn copy, the copy of the Lady Agnew by Sargent (posted here), and the live model portrait that you may re-view here.

The answer that emerged from my critiquers was unclear, but I got the impression that sticking to landscapes, if that’s what I most wanted to do, would not be such a bad thing. It is anyway too soon to judge my potential as a portraitist inasmuch as I have not yet drawn the attention of the dog and cat crowd. (Next time, I will post flyers at Petco and Petsmart.)

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