SURVIVAL AGAINST THE ODDS: a portrait in birch

This piece is one I have attempted three times: the last two I threw the canvases away in frustration.  I am painting a portrait in trees for a loyal collector of my work: a veteran, a father, a friend, a warrior.  He is a complex human who has lived life with stoic fortitude; strong and resilient, open and kind.  Shadows live in his life.

I finally found what I needed whilst walking the dogs.  A grouping of alders (or birch as some call them).  They had started to show the rigours of this hot dry summer as the rains have finally arrived, they creaked and groaned in the gentle breeze.  They were huge, yet vulnerable.  The light was strange, it felt like the sun was coming at me from all sides of the forest, with no definable point.  Overhead the chaos of leaves glittered and loomed ominously, a chaotic visual noise.

I tried to express the man that I know in this portrait.  It is done on a wooden canvas with acrylic (for the most part I used Golden Heavy Paints which have a beautiful lustre that my iPhone photos do not show you).

It feels good to finally have accomplished a painting I promised a year ago.  (I have included some photos of the process I went through creating this piece, for the most part it is a very flat production, scraped, pulled back constantly to its core.)



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