Face Making

Le blog de l’artiste peintre franco-américaine Gwenn Seemel. Les articles sont en anglais et en français, et souvent ils sont bilingues.

Patron of my art

2017 . 09 . 12 - Comments / Commentaires (5)

James was the first stranger I was ever commissioned to paint. I’d done a handful of commissioned portraits before, but always of people I knew personally. When I met James to photograph and interview him, I was totally winging it, but he never let on that he could tell.



portrait of James Foster

Gwenn Seemel
James
2003
acrylic on canvas
24 x 18 inches

He also never let up on his support for my work. He bought my art now and again, and if I needed a feedback or was trying something new in my career he was always ready to talk with me about my ideas.

A few years ago, I asked to borrow his portrait along with his partner’s, since I was redocumenting old work with a better camera. When I came by to pick up the pieces, I suggested to James that I might touch up the edges of the portraits while I had them. Back in 2003 and 2004 when I made his paintings, I was barely finishing the wrapped edges of the canvas. His pieces looked a little messy to me, but James was not having it. He informed me that I would not be borrowing the works until I swore I would not alter them in any way.



portrait of James Foster

detail of James

James died two days ago. He was a true patron of the arts: he taught me to respect my own work. I will miss him.


RELATED ARTICLES:
- How to commission an artist / Comment commander une œuvre d’art
- The window to the soul / La fenêtre de l’âme
- How I paint my portraits


CATÉGORIES: - English - Business of art - Portraiture -


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(5) Comments / Commentaires: Patron of my art

-- Sarah A. -- 2017 . 09 . 12 --

You may have been “winging it,” but you obviously had what it takes! James sounds like a stand-up guy. I’m glad you knew him.

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-- Teresa Cash -- 2017 . 09 . 12 --

What an honor to have known someone like James.  He definitely saw the importance of you and what you do at en early time.

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-- Sarah Greenman -- 2017 . 09 . 12 --

I’m so sorry to hear of his passing. Thinking of you.

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-- Roberta Warshaw -- 2017 . 09 . 12 --

I am so sorry Gwenn. It is a wonderful piece.

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-- Gwenn -- 2017 . 09 . 12 --

Thank you, all of you! It was sudden and that does make it harder—the grieving coming on strong and all at once. This is me giving each of you a virtual squeeze. You each support and encourage me, and I am so grateful for that!

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