Monday, May 15, 2006

First Year

As a child, my strong interest in European History led me to start drawing copies of Old Master works from artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Hans Holbein. I had a natural ability to make perfect copies of these paintings and drawings, so I moved on to drawing portraits of friends and acquaintances. I received many awards and accolades for my artwork, with portraiture becoming my main interest.

Later, I pursued formal studies in painting and color, graduating from Sheridan College, and also studying with numerous artists who were skilled in painting and portraiture. I began painting with watercolor and then moved to acrylic briefly before turning to oil paint as my favored medium.

I strive to create beautiful, meaningful works of art, full of light and color using oil paint, while at the same time revealing the essence of the subject’s personality. The reason I now choose to work in oil for the most part is this medium has withstood the test of time and the paintings will last for hundreds of years, becoming family heirlooms. To achieve the best color, form and individuality, I prefer to work from life as much as possible. I usually choose to portray a life-size image that captures the person's likeness, while keeping the rest of the canvas impressionistic in order to highlight attention to the face.

My aim at this time is to continue to grow as a painter and artist. To this end, I continue to learn from established artists by taking workshops regularly and I often visit museums and galleries to study how artists of the past that I admire greatly (such as Diego Velazquez, John Singer Sargent and Cecilia Beaux) obtained their outstanding results. I believe that the artistic journey is lifelong and we need to continue to improve and hone our craft in order to have the tools to create meaningful paintings. This is what makes painting endlessly interesting. There is always room to improve. More than one person has said to me that it must be nice to have such a relaxing vocation. This comment always makes me laugh, at least inwardly, as nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the pursuit of my vision is often the most frustrating, aggravating torture. I am never completely satisfied and most paintings are not finished, but abandoned. However, this is what keeps a painter pressing forward, the fact that art is an absorbing pursuit with endless options, sometimes surprising results and occasionally the satisfaction of having achieved at least part of what you set out to accomplish with serendipitous surprises adding something more.

I am currently working on commissions, plein air paintings, still life and figurative pieces.


Anonymous said...

Thank-you for sharing your works and thought processes.

Laurel Alanna McBrine said...

Thanks for reading!