Monday, November 17, 2008

Portrait of My Father

I did this painting as a birthday present to my father, Milton Bell, who is a highly respected architect in Texas. He has designed many landmark buildings including the US Embassy in Mexico City and the Texas Energy Museum. I chose to paint him at work at his drawing board because, well, I think it's just his most comfortable spot in the whole world. In fact, it's possible that he may be genetically linked to his drawing board.
Inspired by our sons' gallery paintings, I wanted to experiment with a looser style of painting than my usual fantasy art style. I recommend to other artists to try out different styles if for no other reason than the psychological. It feels so funny! It's good to explore and stretch yourself.

Julie

11 comments:

BerinU said...

I've got to say that I just love this looser style. This piece and "A Rose For Peter" are just amazing. I mean I have always been a huge fan of both you and Boris, but these last couple paintings have hit me like sledge hammer to the gut. Just wonderful. Makes me want to rethink my own work and direction.

Berin

Boris and Julie said...

Cool! Thanks so much for the encouragement! It's always a little scary when you try out new ways.

Julie

Tracy said...

Ironically, I too have just painted a portrait of my father.......I made the announcement on my blog a few days ago that I was going to post a painting of a special project I was working on, on Thanksgiving......my mothers birthday, I mail it off tomorrow in hopes that it gets there in time.....the portrait is for her. I DON'T mess with portraits at all, but have to say that this is the most special and important painting that I have ever done, it also seems to be the one I am most proud of, as well as the one I am most worried about.

Thanks for posting the pic, I do like the loose style. Doing something outside your normal comfort zone is a great boon....especiall if it turns out well, of course you can learn (what not to do)from a flop too :)

Tracy

Author said...

Happy birthday to your father!
I'm from Vietnam and I'm very like your pictures.

Jen said...

I love this piece, and I have to echo Berin's sentiments here; this along with "A Rose for Peter" just blows me away. Sometimes I think it takes an artist with the ability to do very tight realism to pull off highly successful "painterly" works. Your brush stokes in these pieces all feel confident; they may be loose, but they are also precise in describing very solid forms in specific lighting conditions. There's nothing wasted here, no excess at all. That's what all of us strive for when attempting a looser style, but few successfully pull it off the way you have! That, and establishing a mood; the thoughtful and contemplative expression permeates everything, beyond the sensitively rendered face and hand. What an amazing gift to give to your father; congrats to him on his birthday!

Annalisa said...

I am really glad that you posted this piece, Julie (and painted it too, of course--I'm sure your father is going to treasure it!). I'm always asking myself, especially after last year's Master class, how consistent my style needs to be. Currently I'm still developing my style so I'm probably putting the cart ahead of the horse, but it's still a worry of mine. I guess you could say I'm scared of being "locked in" before I'm ready. Paintings like this give me hope that I can still experiment in my personal work and possibly take a different direction professionally if I ever need to. Would you say that's a fair assessment?

Rayford said...

This is a phenomenal piece. I am loving your experimentation. Your work continues to grow stronger and more elegant. Keep on going!

Boris and Julie said...

First, my father wanted me to say thank you for the birthday wishes! He's not used to using the internet and especially not blogs, so this is new and exciting for him to see.
Second, thanks again for all the comments pertaining to experimentation. We all need a lot of reassurance that it's not just okay, but important to keep ourselves from feeling "locked in" (as Annalisa puts it). We just have to keep saying the mantra, "It's not brain surgery! Just let it happen."
Julie

Jasons-Brush said...

This is just great, I would love to see you do more work like this.

Best Jason

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

I love seeing these personal pieces that show another side to you two. I would love to see more of this painterly style. This portrait, along with the portrait of the doggy are two of my favorites. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful work. I can't wait to learn more from you two at the next IMC in 2009.

DonnieL said...

Julie.I think this is one of the best ones you have ever done.Not sure why,maybe the subject matter or the emotion or because its so separate from your other works.Amazing.