My Portraits

      In 1532 Hans Holbein  the Younger went to England and became the court painter for King Henry VIII.  Incorporating the flattery his patrons expected, the paintings he completed served their purpose as royal portraiture.  But the black chalk drawings Holbein did, as a reference for these paintings, are perhaps the most profound portraits ever done in any medium.
     Although I am not trying to paint or draw like Holbein, I am trying to follow his approach.  By just drawing what he saw and knowing he would see it, Holbein went beyond both social standing and appearances to say something of the person's soul.
     In my work, recording every blemish won't take me closer to this goal; neither will blatant flattery.  Being satisfied with the likeness of a child when he or she looks cute or happy would only be an affirmation that the parents have done well.  I want the child I paint or draw to say at forty, "That was me when I was seven and that's still me today."

Return to ... Portraits