I’ve done dozens of paintings in this style and they’ve always sold well. This one will never be for sale; it’s the first painting I did of Judy, for Judy…and for me.
Traditional portraits are designed to capture how someone looks – ideally you get a sense of the person when seeing the likeness an artist created.
This is an untraditional portrait; an outsider would never be able to tell the figure is Judy. It’s not about the likeness – it’s about an essence, a feeling. It captures how Judy made me feel at a particular moment in time – a life changing moment.
Judy and I had been dating for a few weeks and I was starting to fall in love with her. One night, she walked into a restaurant after having been caught in the rain. I watched her make her way through the restaurant to our table. Water droplets glistened on her shoulders and she literally sparkled, her eyes only on me. At that moment, I knew I was hopelessly in love.
When Mark surprised me by leaving this gift at my door, we had stopped dating – temporarily, as it (happily) turned out. The first time I looked at this painting, I stopped breathing. This painting convinced me Mark truly saw me for who I really was. And more than anything, I wanted to be seen for who I was, and loved because (or despite) of it. The painting was a turning point for us; soon afterwards, we were a couple again, this time for good.
About the method
I double prime the canvas with two colors of acrylic and let it dry. In the meantime, I squirt at least a dozen colors of oil paint on my palette and let them sit out a couple days to get gummy. When they’re at the right consistency, I use a dry brush technique, twisting, pushing the colors to allow the figure to take shape. There’s not a lot of detail – it’s all about feeling, about capturing the spirit.