South American Boy (45.5 x 60.5 cm)
Little is known of the South American Boy that the artist has painted so beautifully. He may have belonged to a mission, and indeed may have been sponsored by the artist. He wears a cross, and there is another cross in the background, symbolizing Christianity.
The artist has used a triangular structure and the ‘rule of thirds’ horizontally in this *‘portaricature’, (a fusion of portrait and caricature). The subject is positioned on the canvas so that the viewer’s eyes rest on his dark eyes. The trees have been placed to balance the painting and frame the boy’s head.
His elongated nose, bright lips, bold eyebrows and large eyes are ‘signatures’ on many of the paintings in the artist’s collection.
The boy is beautifully attired, and the variety of colourful, clear brush strokes used for his shirt have been perfectly applied and highlighted with bright white. There is little overworking. The white and green brushstrokes in the background show the technical influence the Canadian artist, Tom Tomson (1877 – 1917), had on this artist. There is lots of energy and harmony in this painting as it has been created using bright yellow-green and cool, blue hues. Skin tones are slightly milky but natural. Mixed short and medium, loose brush strokes have been used to form natural looking, red-violet hair, colours commonly used in many of the artist’s painting.
Attention has been paid to detail and even the boy’s goitre is emphasised.
It is a happy, fresh looking painting and the mood is joyous. The boy looks very youthful, yet responsible.
Acrylic on Masonite, date unknown. (Cleaned and framed.)