One such stimulating occasion was when I had the privilege and honour of meeting and enjoying a talk by Paul Wyse, a phenomenal oil portrait artist. He's painted famous people of political and public fame. More recently there was an unveiling of his portrait of Paul Martin a former prime minister of Canada which now hangs in our parliament buildings. Another famous client was Billy Joel as part of his close affiliations with Steinway. He even paints Steinway pianos with stunning custom finishes! I should also mention he is an awesome pianist and teacher as well! Being a musician, I can appreciate the sheer talent this fellow exudes. He plays concerts all over the place and during a Fort Town Concert gig, he was kind enough to accept our invitation one evening. That is how he came to be in our small meeting room, sporting a full beard, captivating us all with his passion, al in a casual and friendly attitude despite his fame.
When he revealed his red themed portrait of a piano student, we were all galvanized. You could tell this painting is one of his favourites and holds a special place in his heart. I completely understand why it's not for sale. When we triumph, we fall in love with ourselves all over again. As a result, we tend to hold on to the accomplishment a little longer. (That my theory anyway) The fascinating thing was how when you look more closely at the colours, pure red was rarely used. Pearl earrings appeared white, but were shades of olive green and core. It's all in the placement and relativity, all about subtle shading and highlighting plus lots and lots of colour checking! I was so motivated and encouraged! It awakened my penchant for portraiture. I found myself questioning why I wasn't doing this. Why did I feel I had to try everything else before I come full circle? Though I love painting flowers up close, I've learned that I dislike landscapes despite being a horticulturist. I tend to put in too much detail and the piece resembles a landscape architect's vision. I don't feel I'm an abstract artist either for the same reason: too much detail. Yet I've always loved sketching faces and here was this man, rekindling my desire and banishing my fears. His passion was contagious and I was seriously infected. Although he works in oils and I in acrylics, I believe that I can achieve something noteworthy. Yes, trying oils has been on my mind too!