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.