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I'm sure you agree there’s a lot of satisfaction in getting away from familiarity into the public on a bus to a neighbouring town for example. Sites roll by transforming into something new.

I can’t resist the revelation that all paintings are some form of landscape leading to a window of possibilities. It could be a human landscape such as a portrait, an interior with people, animals, objects, or the movement of shoppers in the marketplace. In the old days, portraiture and landscape painting took a back seat to “history” painting which consisted of mythical stories and sculptures involving angels and Bible tales.

In the late 1800’s when artists invented impressionism, they devoted their energies to the experience of everyday subjects involved in daily activities in their present everyday moments. All of this transpired under the intensely concentrated study of the behaviour of light to create value (lightness or darkness). The Impressionists combined what they saw previously with the experience of their present moments. Often something will catch my senses when I’m not looking or expecting anything, and though my reaction to that will often depend partly on my unconscious response. I can still allow the present moment to be the foreground. I become fully appreciative. But it’s not something I work at or set to any goal. It just is.

In the old days, portraiture and landscape painting took a back seat to “history” painting …

Am I reliving the impressionist experience? Today’s bus ride destination revealed a rare treat when I saw two artists in the mall drawing caricatures. Studio portraiture is an even rarer occurrence in any geographical area. Though I settled for my “posed” photo reference with its hint of self-consciousness, completing the watercolour had a way of dispelling any formality in her expression. I felt connected to the modern movement where artists capture the moment without too much thinking to get in the way.

A Second Look or a Hundred

Date

April 15, 2016

Author

James Kershaw

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Jim Kershaw says

August 24, 2016

I'd love to do more plein air watercolour portraits. Sitting requires patience that some don't have.

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