Thursday, July 26, 2012

Self Portrait

Most artists at some point
get around to painting their self portrait,
Mirror and lights arranged to reflect
back to the painter’s eye then transferred
to the canvas in abstract strokes
the skin bag that holds them together.

Some try to recreate the image accurately
while others try to capture the soul.
One artist I know was painting a series
of dead white presidents and painted himself
along this vein with velvet suit and white powdered
wig all stoic and looking like the father of our country.

Another artist, a retired doctor who knows anatomy
perfectly had trouble with how many wrinkles
to include. He struggled with an exact portrayal
smoothing out the surface of his skin to reflect
the young man he remembered instead of the old one
he had become. He hasn’t finished yet preferring
to paint the faces of beautiful young woman.
He is an expert at this and is quite content
to leave his portrait unfinished.

Every artists knows distortions
can exist if the eyes are done right.
They are the source of light where the individual
dwells. A viewer can see into the psyche
and recognize the person through the eyes.

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