Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Portrait of a Teen Boy

Seriously Sixteen:Portrait of Nick©2011C.L.Burgess 10x10 oil on linen nfs

 It is a loss of sorts, to let go of things that were once so precious to one's existence. These things might be stuff, or memories, or relationships. In my case, yesterday, it was a little of both. We artists are so acutely aware of relationships, by the nature of what we do I suppose. For a figure or portrait artist, more so, I think. 

Yesterday, I did a cursory review of my shelves in the studio, and the surrounding space. 
Being of a creative mind and soul, I am normally used to clutter, inside and out.
But having been cooped up with the nasty pnuemonia made me more aggressive in cleaning house. When one sits around alot, one gets philosophical, then practical. So there I sat, itching to DO something other than think. So with the energy bestowed  upon me, I began to remove old artwork from shelves and take a good look at what was there. Then proceeded to tear up and dispose of any offense. I would say about 25 pieces or so. Man, that felt good. There is something so freeing to the spirit when one makes choices to dispose of clutter! Even if it was my own artwork. That critical look at where I had been and what I had made that no longer represented what I was capable of, was severe in its execution, but kind enough to say fare well at last. 
It was an epiphany of sorts.

The portrait today does illustrate with better execution, an idea that I had. 
I took this photo of my godson a few years ago at his home in upstate NY. (I fully intended it to become a painting. It will be a full size one at some point in time.) At the time, I thought, how carefree it is to be a teen, such promise lies ahead and yet this one seems to carry some weight. Which is of course the attraction in the expression and hence the title. All teens carry a weight, you remember don't you?
Yet from this side of the couch, now, I think....well, y'all know that too.

So, I thought of the relationships thing. Letting go. In one's teens is when it really starts to sink in, this part of life. Both to the child and the parent. The young man is now getting ready to begin the next chapter of his life by going to college in the fall. He has shed his long hair, excelled to scholarship and is looking forward to the life before him.
Being a mom of son's, I thought of my sis in law and how bittersweet a time this is for her, since Nick is her youngest and only son. So as I painted it, I thought, she must have this. She has given me permission to share it with you.
Oh, yes...and good luck to you Nick, my godson, the graduate. Smile. You did well.
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