Today had been a scheduled plein air paintout ; it rained and voila! I unexpectedly had time to paint a commissioned portrait. Maybe I should call it a “suggested” portrait. Landscape painter, John Hopkins, a friend and mentor, had suggested that I use some sketches of him to do one of “my” figure paintings. We could exchange it for a painting of his I wanted. See links.
The assignment inspired me and I had given it considerable thought. The portraits I like are those that catch the spirit, something of the life of the subject–not necessarily an exact likeness. John is a painter, but I have not been in his studio and did not want to get involved in the particulars of where he painted because details like that overwhelm the gesture of the figure, which is my primary interest. Instead I have taken my inspiration from the skyscape paintings of his that I covet. The painting is of John (from a sketch)and the sky that must have inspired him to paint his paintings of the sky.
I have done portraits of persons close to me before, plus a self portrait of myself. I have used sketches of my family as figures in my paintings. “John Hopkins, landscape painter extraordinaire” is my first “commissioned” portrait.