I See Blue (58.5 x 59 cm)

This *‘portaricature’, (fusion of portrait and caricature), shows the artist’s love of colour. It is a ‘self-portrait’. The rich colour of the dark blue background does not interfere with the portrayal of the subject. It interacts favourably with the patterned, orange-coloured clothing and this ‘simultaneous contrast’ has the effect of stimulating the viewer’s senses.

Natural, body proportion ‘rules’ have not been adhered to in this painting. The artist did this deliberately. This results in the subject taking on a caricature like appearance. The head is spherical, and in portraiture the use of facial tone creates an illusion of form and depth. Hence, this painting has an almost flat appearance, though not to the same extent as some of the artist’s other ‘portraits’. 

The subject’s head is centred in the top two thirds of the canvas and his shoulders in the bottom third. The head is elongated, as is the nose, and the nose is widened. This makes the eyes look larger and the face narrower. The eyes and the mouth add expression to the subject’s face, and here the artist’s big, baby-sized, piercing, green eyes are bright and sparkling. They match the large red lips and convey a happy message. The artist painted most mouths large, colourful and expressive. Eyes and lips are his ‘signatures’ on many of his paintings, not just the ‘portrait’ types.

Care has been taken in the creation of this painting. Strokes are distinct and blending is smooth. There is a paint-dribbled, textured area on the left section of the painting. Although some underpainting does show through, the white paint used for the subject’s hair and beard has been carefully applied and balances the painting. The tiny brush strokes (stippling) in the foreground add interest.

This painting has aesthetic appeal.

Acrylic on Masonite, late career. (Cleaned and framed.)

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