Someone recently said to me, "I suppose all artists who are making a living at their art have to do some portraits." I don't think they understood that true artists are fascinated with life and the world around them and paint what they love, and that can include many things.
From an early age, drawing and painting children, pets and especially horses, brought me joy, first the challenge of capturing the image, but more than that bringing the personality of the individual subjects to life. I didn't realize it back then, but later a teacher told me I had a gift.
After I started doing commissioned portraits my joy became seeing the eyes of the person(s) who commissioned me when they saw their painting for the first time. Their obvious happiness made me happy ~ and it's probably got a lot to do with why I paint portraits in addition to the other subjects I paint.
Not all of my portrait subjects are living when I paint them. In fact early on, when I did more portraits than other types of paintings, about half of my commissioned work was of mothers, fathers, children and pets who had passed on without a really good image for their survivors to look upon.
I consider that teacher was right and that it a gift I've been given, to be able to paint in such a way from old photographs, portraits that my clients will say they don't know how I did it but the painting is more like the subject than the photos they gave me as sole reference.
If you wish to show me your old photographs, I'll honestly tell you whether I can paint from them, and if so, I'll do my best to capture more than just images.
Immediately below: two recent portraits, followed by children's portraits, then animals:
"Every child begins the world again." ~ Henry David Thoreau
A few examples of Ellen's animal portraits "We asked Ellen to paint a picture of our three dogs with our backyard setting. It came out so lifelike that it looks like a photograph. Only better, because she captured their three separate personalities. We couldn't be happier. I highly recommend anyone who is thinking of getting a portrait or any other painting done to get in touch with Ellen. She is amazing!" ~ R. Raab
To receive my eNews.... If you'd like to know about my painting & print debuts, my artisans' debuting creations and events at my gallery, please enter your email address below and select your specific areas of interest. Your privacy is important to me. I do not sell or share my mail list with anyone ever.
All images, design and text Copyright Ellen Rice Associates, LLC, Ocean View, Delaware, 2022. All rights reserved.