Painting portraits

I paint to stay alive, for fun, to keep the little grey cells moving, and to feel I have accomplished something. In the years I’ve been painting I can see the improvements. That in and of itself gives me satisfaction. It took awhile when I first started to admit that I could not learn to paint without instruction. People would say “if you want to paint, just paint, paint, paint. Well that works to a degree then you start to ask questions that you can’t answer by just experimenting. Or, perhaps you could if you lived long enough. At any rate I sought out instruction.

My first classes were informal. You signed up, paid a fee, then were asked by an instructor what you wanted to paint. In some cases I would take in a picture or look thru art books for pictures that I liked. Instructors were different in that some were more apt to give you help than others. Some instruction, but almost never any instruction in what it takes to make a good painting. So, after several years of trying different instructors, styles, and personalities I finally found someone who taught what I would consider the classics of oil painting.

I often say to myself. If I had started this 20 yrs. ago I might someday be good at what I do. Well I didn’t start early enough but I have worked hard at the time I’ve had with various instructors both in person and online after Covid. I have painted still lifes, landscapes and now I am focusing on portraits. I use the term Portrait with with some hesitation as I still have not reached the stage where the portrait is a close resemblance of the person being painted. I can paint a good looking person, all the parts in the right places, however, getting the “likeness” is a skill stage I have not yet reached.

So, one person at a time and very gradually I am making some progress. In another place I will try to show some of the paintings I have done over the past few years to show the difference in my ability then and now.

Not sure how to load the photos at this stage so will try at a different time.

So for today that is a beginning of my journey into oil painting, portraits and wherever else it may take me.

I thank my teacher, Jason Mayr, for all his valuable instruction over the few years I’ve known him and do hope I can continue to learn from his valuable knowledge as an artist. He encourages me when I become overwhelmed, and yet keeps my nose to the grindstone 🙂

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