A painted portrait is a complex combination of the sitter and the painter, the present and the future, the physical and the spiritual. It differs from portrait photography in that a painting
presents the complete and timeless qualities, personality, and expression of the individual as opposed to a moment in time.
Reverend Bryant M. Kirkland said it well when he wrote about portrait painting:
“The subject wants to be seen in the best light and to be remembered as having reached somewhere near his dreams, for lurking in every portrait is the shadow of mortality and the yearning for immortality.
“Here is where the artist is also a philosopher and a therapist as he or she helps the subject to express his hidden aspirations and sketch his dreams. The imagination of the artist can help to fulfill the vision by the placing of light, by the careful selection of suggested icons, symbolic mementos, and interpretive fabric designs.”
The finite image on a stretched canvas contains the infinite expression of a complex human being, and places them on a field of immortality.
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