I am very excited and happy to have my work on a building thanks to this project. This is a big thing. I am very honored to be included in this project. With this painting I want to show my appreciation to the city and to my artist friend Suzanne and to her dedication. I appreciate how she cares for people and what she does for society.
She has welcomed me like family and inspiring me she motivates me to paint.
When I paint, I look for the real person while communicating with the subject.
I like to see the subject in a real space with everything moving and alive, not like some frozen mannequin. By talking to them I can find their true character.
So, I like to connect at a deeper level with each person.
When painting Plein Air, it’s a direct approach and you capture a moment in time.
With my portrait paintings each day we are different dependent on our life conditions. And even light is never the same. Colors change from morning to night. So, if I paint the same subject ten times, I always see something distinct. This then creates difficulty for me, never totally satisfied. I want the portrait to be the best of the best. I look for which face is really Suzanne. I painted her portrait over several days. Each time, Suzanne would say it is perfect just the way it is. She did not want me to touch it. But then on every occasion she amazed me, and I found her expression better than yesterday.
The most important part from the beginning was that we were in synch with each other in that she inspires me as I inspire her. There is an energy exchange.
I don’t mean to change the portrait, but people watching, including me, realize afterwards that the portrait changed already. In the end I make it stronger, adding more character with a stronger representation. It results in a greater realization that everything is changing all the time. I want to stop only when I capture the likeness of the person’s soul. That is bringing out the best in that person. Looking at the portrait they can say, “That is exactly me.” She feels what she sees in the image, and it makes her happy.
When I paint a portrait, I try to bring out the inner person. To relax, the subject can talk. I must really pay attention to see. I learned this skill doing portraits in Disneyland. People don’t sit still. I had to paint a lot of people walking all over. Often, they were not looking at me and maybe they would turn around. Those are the conditions I painted in. That is my skill. For me it is easier to determine the uniqueness when I look at different angles as the subject is moving around. You can see the many aspects of the person.
The title, Expression, is the manifestation of that resonance between me, the artist and my subject.