Monday, January 4, 2010

I Hate Portraits

So here's the dealio: I hate doing portraits. I'm not good at it, my subjects rarely look like themselves when I'm finished, and I always feel self-concious afterwards, like I'm trying to steal a soul or something (I'd make a poor jungle explorer... you know: Polaroids and all that.... sorry)

Anyway, a publisher friend of mine got me to write an essay about my father for an upcoming issue of the fly fishing magazine he puts together. I fancy myself a some-time wannabe writer of variable skill, but it's a good essay, if I do say-so myself: summarizing the life of the guy who formed my own life, written from a sporting/fly fishing viewpoint without getting too syrupy.

Here's a short exerpt:

" Dad's mastery of the dry fly was a thing of beauty and grace. With a skill honed fishing wild, native brook trout in the crystal clear glacial lakes of northeastern Wisconsin, I remember watching in awe as he dropped, with dainty precision and maddening repetition, tiny dry flies to raising trout..."

OK, certainly not Hemmingway, but you get the point. To illustrate the article, my friend suggested that I produce a print, to which I agreed. I played around with several ideas, and finally settled on a linoleum hand-colored portrait:

I printed this with Gamblin Oil-based black on Rives BFK, and hand-colored it with Akua-color water based inks. This is the first hand-coloring I've ever done. Believe it or not, it actually looks like him. And as much as I really don't like doing portraits, I'm pretty happy with it, and I think I like this hand-coloring thing.

Hopefully my friend will like it and we can put this project to rest (I'm looking back on that last moku-hanga print that didn't go so well...)

I did learn one important lesson with this print - I need a press!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.