Art Portraits Convey the Sense of Person

Oct 05, 2016
Artwork by: A. Morcoe ‘Pensive Study’ in oil by A. Morcoe.

The art of fine portraiture is more than just a pretty face; the best portraits portray the emotional life of the sitter. That’s why so many portraits done from life are more satisfying to the artist and the viewer than those copied from photographs.

Alas, unlike days of old, few artists have the studio or the models available to paint or draw from life, and that’s what makes Pine Shores Art Association’s life model sessions so needed and popular. The results of the studious artists who have made use of the Sunday and Monday night portrait classes and Thursday night life class (nude model) are on display in the Pine Shores Art Association’s Portrait Show.

Artist Tom Doyle is always at his PSAA easel on Sundays, and artists often clamor to get a spot nearest the artist to watch as he creates an image from conté crayons and pastels, deftly finding shadows and lights to build his portraits. His finished piece in the show, “Woman with Earrings,” is the top of his form.

Artist Nancy Camilleri is a frequenter of the portrait class, and her charcoal drawing of “Billy” is brimming with the child’s obvious glee. Artist Brad Thomas entered a nude drawing, “Thursday Life Drawing,” done in charcoal and pastel.

“Monique” by Mee Kyong Sohn is a lovely figure of a woman, and A. Morcoe’s oil portrait “Pensive Study” captures the emotions of the sitter.

Two portraits of artist Tom Rutledge, who must have stepped in one session as model, by Kelly Sterr and Richard Tarczynski are very telling of his mild demeanor. Both Joyce Lawrence’s oil portrait “Michael” and Linda Coulter’s pastel “Blossom” are from life but may have been informed through the use of photos of their subjects – but drawing from life is best.

And just to prove this opinion wrong, a look at Tom Rutledge’s watercolor of his son playing the guitar was created using photos, and “The Supplicant” is as sensitive a portrait as anyone could ask.

“Siesta” colored pencil by Cathy Heller is carefully crafted.

Then we have animal portraits, which are rarely completed from life as the animals just don’t stand still long enough. Anyone could fall in love with Dee Turba’s “Touch of Red,” a gouache painting of a bunny, or “Sweet Sophie,” a bulldog watercolor by Joan Dandeo.

Danny Ng is an artist who made his living creating monumental figures on movie theater billboards and loves to create monumental figures from history, such as his “Julius Caesar.” The theatric is evident.

Jim Oakley’s watercolor of a fireman, “Seen It All,” is also on the side of creating an icon.

Not everyone in the art club wanted to create a serious portrait. PSAA President Paul Hartelius made a self-portrait collage using snippets of scrapbooking paper. Titled “Going to Pieces,” it is a fantastic work of ingenuity.

Linda Reddington decided to mine the Halloween scene for portraits by painting a smiling Jack o’Lantern for “Orange Is the New Flak.” And Paul Daukas, a well-known devotee of Picasso, created a Picasso-like pirate in “Captain Jack Sparrow.”

There are many portraits of family members, such as “Richard,” a watercolor by Gladys Cordts; “Portrait of C.J.,” mixed media by Maria Biebel; “Mad Madi,” a tongue-in-cheek colored pencil by Nancy Sterr Lang; and “Papa in the Garden” by Kathleen Lesche.

The PSAA artists choice contest awarded the First Place ribbon to “Lil Jill” by Grace Spano. Second place went to Ed Rennar’s “Etched Expression.”

Hartelius won third place for his “Gone to Pieces,” and Jim Oakley won honorable mention for “Seen It All.”

The PSAA Portrait Show continues at the gallery, 94 Stafford Ave. in Manahawkin, through Oct. 25. The gallery is open Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m. and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

— Pat Johnson


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