Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Portrait #3


This is a painting I made from a 1920s photo of my grandparents' wedding day. I thought this pose looked a bit like the painting, American Gothic. They really were standing out in the middle of a field in Texas that day.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very American Gothic! I don't know why this makes me smile. Is it the simplicity? So uncomplicated yet you could read a lot into it! Does it really fit into the portrait category? I almost feel like it's a commentary on Americana.

Melinda said...

Oh, my. Beware! You may inspire me to drag out more portraits!! There is quite a story. I find that when I paint, every element is symbolic of some narrative in my head. My grandfather's pants are red because he was a brick layer (working at the Acme Brick company at the time) and he would tease my grandmother (feather in her hat) for having indian ancestry. They were very earthy people, building and growing food until they couldn't anymore. I'm not too sure this would fit in with the competition as there are two people in it. This one is a bit iffy. Maybe the cartoon like features within the representational view is the fun part. Notice how flat and awkward the hands are. You can also see that his legs are floating in the same way that I am floating in Little King of Everything.

Edgar said...

It is interesting that they stand in a great flat field, indulging the viewer with a pose, just so we can take a look at them. The world is a paper backdrop, but these cardboard cutouts are floating in it, already beginning to vanish into it from the bottom up.

I love the facial studies in this work, especially the monalisa-esque female figure, with round face and mouth set resolutely. She looks like Mt Rushmore. The man looks happy and outgoing, like he's ready to shake a thousand hands and share some cigars.

Anonymous said...

Melinda, today is the last day for entering the Smithsonian portrait competition. Which one did you enter? I entered! Submitted the portrait of my son in a top hat, just for fun... let's see what happens. Thanks for telling me about it!
Oh, and they definitely take unconventional work! Go for it!

Melinda said...

Silvina,
I'm so glad you took the leap! The portrait of your son is an excellent choice. I've decided on the Learned Obedience Suffering. It doesn't matter if there are tons of submissions, or that we wonder if the one we selected is the right choice for this set of jurors. It is all about the work and offering it to the right venue. I also like to think that it isn't wasted money when one is helping to support a good organization. Best of luck to you too! The waiting will be difficult. There is another big call to artists that you may be interested in that comes around yearly. However, you have to invest a lot, I think, to get your work in and back again...Let me know if you are interested in it and I'll send you more info.

Anonymous said...

Another "big call"? Yes, I want to know! What is it, what is it!

Unknown said...

Good luck! I would have picked L.O.S as well although I do find your Amer. Gothic a real charmer.

Melinda said...

David,
It was a tough choice, but you've confirmed again to me, the best possible choice for this particular competition. Once I clicked 'send,' my mind rested.