Tag Archives: portraits

“The Portrait” by Stanley Kunitz

Stanley Kunitz in his garden

A difficult but touching portrait of familial tragedy in a poem by American poet lauriet, Stanley Kunitz:

THE PORTRAIT

My mother never forgave my father
for killing himself,
especially at such an awkward time
and in a public park,
that spring
when I was waiting to be born.
She locked his name
in her deepest cabinet
and would not let him out,
though I could hear him thumping.
When I came down from the attic
with the pastel portrait in my hand
of a long-lipped stranger
with a brave moustache
and deep brown level eyes,
she ripped it into shreds
without a single word
and slapped me hard.
In my sixty-fourth year
I can feel my cheek
still burning.

http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2006/05/15/obituaries/16kunitz_ready.html

Advertisements

The Beam in my Eye

Ok, so it wasn’t a beam.  But it was a big splinter that shot into  my eye, and I had to remove it with  tweezers. Ouch!  That will teach me   to never again make just one more cut without the safety glasses!!

Top Bar BeehiveThe top bar beehive I am building is almost finished, and except for the splinter in the eye,  has come together without a hitch.  Download this wonderful design for free at www.biobees.com.  I have ordered bees, which are slotted to come on May 2nd, and I just can’t wait.  Hope they stay with me for at least one season!

As a portrait sculptor, who really must pay attention to the shapes of peoples faces, I have found that eyes blank-eyeare truly the hardest feature to capture well.  It is interesting to note the many different ways that eyes have been sculpted through the centuries.  There is that strange blank stare of many Greek works, and a variety of ways to suggest both corneas and pupils. eye with cornea eye-with-pupilThese three eyes are by Richard W. Bock, sculptor for Frank Lloyd Wright.

Houdon,  the renowned 18th c. portrait artist who sculpted the faces of numerous American forefathers developed a style in which he captured a gleam in the eye. I think that is an important quality, and one I strive for in my own work.  These two eyes below are mine, the second one replicated directly from Houdon.

A  lively feel is achieved through various texturizing affects around the eye & in the cornea, textured-eyeor the addition of a spot of clay before the pupil which is perceived as a glimmer of light.Eye after Houdon

In with the gleam, out with the beam. 😀

*

(Sculptor:  Lydia Shalanko, last two photos courtesy of Statue.com)