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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Good times in Charlotte, NC.


Well, after months of working on two large portraits for one corporate client, seeing the paintings shipped from your studio, praying they get there  (Airfloat Systems - the very best for art boxes!)  but you still never know. Fex Ex is great most of the time but I have also seen some boxes returned to me in terrible shape from competitions. I had one painting sent to the Royal Portrait Society in England lost in customs. No-one knew where it was...even with a tracking number! Numerous high anxiety transatlantic phone calls.

So it was a lovely moment to fly to Charlotte  a weekend or so ago and see these portraits unveiled in a delightful warm ceremony for the Reformed Theological Seminary, RTS, a group that trains ministers worldwide.

As I was sitting there at the unveiling surrounded by new friends I have made through the long process of making a portrait out of state, it reminded me of what an absolute privilege it is to be a portrait artist. To have someone place their trust in you to record an important person's time in place. I know it sounds cliched perhaps. But I take this honor very seriously. And it makes me feel humble actually.

I think of the greats that have gone before me, Sargent, de Lazlo, Rembrandt, et al, who  had many great unveiling's, more than I will ever have in my lifetime,  and SURELY, much better paintings than mine will ever be, but it is the same process we go through as a portrait artist today. A time-honored tradition that still exists. Ahhh.....pass the warm and fuzzies to me right now. A full plate of warm scones with lashings of Devonshire clotted cream

 But INCREDIBLE really when you think about it. We live in an age of fast-fix deliver, everything at the push of a computer Photoshop button. Great that this art form is still wanted, relevant, and appreciated.

It makes me want to work harder and get better. I will never be close to a Sargent or a  Rembrandt, or even modern masters Everett Raymond Kinstler, N.A., www.everettraymondkinstler.com and Jeremy Lipking,  www.jeremylipking,com, but I think I still take pride in this incredible art form that I am lucky to be part of.




1 comment:

Rhonda said...

Johanna,
That is very exciting, maybe I'll get to experience an unveiling some day if I'm lucky. I can only imagine the pressure to capture the essence and personality of the person as well as a likeness--of course. Congratulations!
Rhonda