Friday, January 9, 2015

Crate and Portrait Updates


Our box mailed from Michigan arrived the other day. It's sort of surreal to mail yourself something -- to package it up and feed it to the great postal beast, and have it returned to you thousands of miles away, unscathed. Anyway, our milk crate and martini glasses are here now, safe and sound.

Have I mentioned that I spoke to eight 8th-grade English classes this week about interviewing techniques? They're doing a project in which they interview staff members or fellow students about their hobbies (or, as their teacher put it to me, their "passions"). So I was asked to talk a bit about conducting a good interview, drawing upon my newspaper experience. It went well but it was also nerve-wracking and I'm glad it's over. It's hard to do the same presentation again and again, and ironically, I always considered myself a much better writer than interviewer.


My colleague at work has more or less finished my portrait! He said he still has a bit of finishing work to do on it, and it turns out he's painting two, the second one much larger and a more full-body pose. I've seen that one in development and I can already tell I'm going to like it more, though I think this one turned out very well. Something about including a person's hands in the picture gives it a great deal more depth, I think. (The same is true of photographs.)

It's flattering but also a little strange to be on the receiving end of his artistic interest. Whenever I talk to him now I feel a little awkward, strangely. And I'm concerned that I haven't shown adequate enthusiasm and/or appreciation for his work -- I've told him it looks great, but should I offer to buy a painting, for example? He's said he'll give us a print when he's done, so I suppose purchase is not expected. It's just weird to think a couple of portraits of me will be floating around out there somewhere, probably for years to come!

(Top photo: Shadows on an apartment building in Harlesden, northwest London, Dec. 13.)

10 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Wow. I think that portrait is quite remarkable. I think you should buy it if you can afford it. Give it to Dave for a birthday gift. You'll treasure it as you age --

John Gray said...

The eyes follow you.......

37paddington said...

That's a wonderful portrait! Yes, I think you should buy it if you can. I can't wait to see the other one. Your colleague is talented. Something in your gaze is really compelling, the stillness? The willingness to be seen? Something.

Lynne said...

I can certainly see why he chose you as a subject. It turned out just wonderful! I see strength when I look at it.

I doubt he asked to paint you with the intent of turning around and selling it to you. He saw something in you that he wanted to paint, and having lived with an artist myself (my dad) he would want that out in the world.

I'm not sure that I would want to be startled into staring into my own eyes on my wall. But to each his own (portrait). :)

Ms. Moon said...

Wow. I LOVE the portrait! I would be so flattered if I were you.

Sharon Anck said...

Wow, that portrait is great. He's a very talented artist. I can understand how it might give you a strange feeling. When I see historic paintings in galleries, I sometimes think about how that was a real person with his/her own complex life at one time. If the artist is going to sell the piece, I would definitely see if it was possible to buy it.

ellen abbott said...

I think the portrait came out great! and no you should not feel obligated to buy it. he approached you and he painted it because that's what gave him pleasure. I don't think I could hang a portrait of myself in my house. it just seems a little narcissistic to me

Linda Sue said...

Your portrait is really stunning! I love it! If that was my face I would certainly want to buy it. Really well done and very handsome, soulful. If I looked like this portrait I would want it , Lovely!!

e said...

You could offer to buy your portrait; It is stunning. You have a beautiful face, great bone structure and symmetry and he's captured your eyes well.

The Bug said...

I don't think I've ever seen a picture of you where you weren't smiling, so this portrait would already be interesting to me, but on top of that it's really good!