PORTRAIT OF DORIAN "SPARKY" GRAY

self p.jpg Another artist was telling me the other night about how the subject of his paintings is what's inside his model and not the literal physical likeness. Leaving aside the observation that what's inside most of his models is evidently a crazed devil doll, it reminds me of why I'll never be a portrait painter. I can never get inside the model. Maybe it's my cologne--no, sorry, I'm serious. I think it requires a powerful sense of empathy or something that I lack. It's the difference between artists like Vermeer and Ingres, and one like Rembrandt. Although there's only one of those. When you look at a Rembrandt portrait, you don't say, "what an accurate likeness!" You're floored by the person who blows right out of the canvas into your consciousness. It's like supernatural or some damn thing. I can make grotesque caricatures, but that's more like my image of myself coming out, and not the model. The ability to really get inside someone and put it on paper or canvas is the sign of a big heart. That's why I always feel spiritually refreshed after a visit to Laurelines or Learning Daily.