the Portrait Project

Before starting my next copy at the National Gallery, I wanted to explore the possibility of doing a project based on "Portrait of Maquoketa" done by Rose Frantzen some years ago. If you've never seen her gallery talk at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, treat yourself and watch it, it will give you life. Rose wanted to get to know the people in her town while also "democratizing" the portrait, making that experience available to anyone who wanted it, not just those who could spare hundreds of dollars to hire a painter. I love that idea.

Since I've just moved across six time zones to a new apartment community, I thought about this project as a way to meet my neighbors while sharpening my portrait skills. I posted the idea on the community web page, and got some interest. This is the first portrait of hopefully many. He's a retired Coast Guard veteran and cancer survivor. He moved here about the same time we did.

I kept the same format as Rose Frantzen, 12 x 12 square, but stretched canvas instead of panel. I've also begun a new copy at the National Gallery, a Van Gogh which is really way outside my wheelhouse. We'll see what happens with that!