the portrait artist

fashion woman dark girl
Photo by Maksim Goncharenok on

He talks to all his subjects

As they sit in chairs for hours

Staring at one another

In intimate communion

He learns their darkest fears

And their hopes and dreams

And he hopes that he can capture that

In his pencil scratches.

I absolutely adore watching those shows where people paint portraits or landscapes, and if there is a competition element I enjoy it even more. You would think that watching someone paint is boring as hell, but there is something quite soothing about watching these shows.

But what really interests me is the relationship that is built up between painter and sitter. There is something very intimate about sitting face to face and studying someone so carefully for so long.

I find it interesting that some choose to just stare and explore, while others will happily chat away and build a more traditional friendship during their time together.

There was an artist called Marina Abramović, and although she didn’t paint, she did an exhibition where members of the public came and sat in front of her, silently. There was this magical bond that seemed to be formed between her and the sitter and it was quite emotional at times.

It just goes to show that we don’t need to have loads in common, or be physically intimate to create intimacy. Just being in each other’s presence will always be enough.

Much Love

Rachel xx

it’s like watching paint dry

sacred heart of jesus painting with brown frame
Photo by Franck Denis on

Those painted strokes of rugged sight

That mark the page, the surface of the cloth;

They’re all so different in their light,

Their loving take on life that shines

From a sitter, still for hours in the chair,

Burning for the final turn

Of canvases for him to see.

I am a massive fan of the Portrait and Landscape Artist of the Year shows that are on Sky Arts at the moment. I never thought that I would be old enough to literally appreciate watching paint dry; but there you have it, I am officially old and boring.

But the reason I love watching them so much is the fact that the artists all have the same person or scene to paint and yet they all come up with something totally different. Whether it is the way that they put the paint on the paper, or the colours that they choose, or the angle they are looking at the subject; there are never two images that are the same.

I do wonder how well I would fare in the competition. I like to paint but I don’t have a lot of practice, or a style. I’m one of those people that just likes to throw paint down and see how it lands. You never know, my free and easy attitude to art may well go down well with the judges.

Much Love

Rachel xx