Efforts at Portraiture, Age 17

All my life I have been fascinated by portraiture and the idea of recording the human face, which time will erode.  Artists have no higher task.  For a high school student, portraits are a difficult challenge.  At age 17 I tried to portray my mother as she read, both sitting up and reclining.  Today I advise my students to draw from real life rather than stress fantasy or cartoons, because only real life will surely grow in emotional value with the passage of time.

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I only have a Xerox of the ink drawing I gave to camp director Vin Broderick in 1983.  Artists, I am convinced, never change at all:  I am still painting such profiles today, stressing modeling and fall-of-light.

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In high school I took art courses at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, where we recklessly attempted full-color oil-pastel portraits of the model in a single sitting, very difficult to pull off!  I still recall lessons I learned in those classes, which were a blessed liberation from high school's stultification.

A great thing about art is its longevity.  I still have the pastels I used during these years around 1982.