The Artist’s Muse

Just sold this painting, which has long been a favorite of mine for many reasons.  There is a lot involved in learning to paint portraits.  Besides learning to draw and sculpt form with paint, using color, value, shape, and relationships, what really makes a portrait sing is not only capturing the likeness of the person, but more importantly capturing the spirit of the person.  It is something that is difficult to teach because it is so closely tied to the intent of the artist.  Most artists, I think, are after something when they paint.  They are often pushing at the edges of their skills, trying to create something they envision.  For every artist that something will be different.  For me, it is the quest to capture something of the spirit of the person I am painting.  In this portrait, entitled “Girl Without a Pearl Earring” (after Rembrandt’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring”), I achieved my goal.  I knew that it was visible to all when this painting was exhibited several years ago and the girl’s grandfather came to the opening, not knowing that this portrait of his granddaughter was in the show.  He came up to me absolutely stunned by the painting and said, “You have captured my granddaughter!  That is her!”  It was the greatest compliment I have ever had about my work and meant more to me than the prize that it won.  Now, two years later, he saw it on display again, and bought it.  There is no one on earth I would rather have sold the painting to because he loves it and knows her spirit lives within it.

"Girl Without a Pearl Earring"--Oil on Linen 18" x 24"

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5 comments on “The Artist’s Muse

  1. Matthew says:

    I like the simple planes of light, the soft brush strokes. Subtle change in green from shirt to wall is interesting.

  2. […] The Artist’s Muse (debrathompson.wordpress.com) […]

  3. David says:

    This portrait is stunning.

  4. John says:

    I take it this is after VERMEER’S ‘Girl With The Pearl Earring’. While both Vermeer and Rembrandt are among my very favourite artists, to the best of my knowledge Rembrandt never had much to do with any girl wearing a pearl earring (although his drawing of his wife in brown ink called ‘A Woman Sleeping ‘ just has to be seen. The day you can draw like that is the day you’re ok 🙂

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