Sunday, September 23, 2012

Barack Obama

oil on board
6.75"x7"
I've got three things to say about this painting. One, I know it's a little cheesy to paint famous people but I really, really, really wanted to paint this man. Two, I hope to not make any enemies by having chosen Obama as my subject. Three, I've been wanting to slow down and get my teeth into a painting, and so I did.

The hardest part of this painting was the background and the suit and tie- to try and get them to not look really cheesy.


15 comments:

  1. Beautifully done Taryn! I love your muted colors and the way your brushstrokes are laid down with purpose. :)

    And how could you make enemies sweet Taryn? It's not like you painted a portrait of yourself wearing an "I kick puppies in my spare time" shirt. :)

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  2. You really captured his likeness. You are a great portrait artist. This should go in the White House.

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  3. This painting makes me like Obama even more. It is a very humanizing image. It is presidential because of his bearing not because of his setting or clothing.
    I am always amazed when an artist makes me see something as if for the first time.
    We see the president everyday and he can become almost a cardboard cut out. But here he is the man. I see him anew.

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  4. Oh Taryn, I'm always so impressed by your portraits. The way you handle all the colors in skin - don't know how you do it. Love this one - and the reference photo is well chosen. Definitely avoided the cheese factor too, btw. It's a very "human" piece - not an easy thing with famous faces.

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  5. No whiff of cheese here, just very good solid painting

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  6. Let's hope you make more people happy with this portrait than you alienate!

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  7. Thank you Crystal, Charlotte, Paraskevi, Jo, Annamaria, Karen, Nigel and Nancy. I tried to not make a fawning portrait. Nancy, I've sworn off making political statements online, but have made this exception-this will be my only statement this political season- a visual statement :)

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  8. It's a sad reality that a portrait of a sitting president could alienate viewers. That said, it's a great capture of expression and posture. You described so much intensity with such simplicity - poetic.

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  9. Very nice, Taryn! You should give this to President Obama!

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  10. I am a firm Obama supporter not necessarily for all his politics, but for a slight sad sympathy of him going into office with the (maybe) naive attitude more typical of a scholar than a politician -- and he has surely aged a lot during the time in office. Your painting has captured his personality and the look of all the world's worries on one person's shoulder so well -- yet not becoming overly sentimental. It has described the struggle, the disappointment, and the compromises that are not usually included in the job description for this prominent position he has held for the past few years. Just like Jo said, it's a very humanizing image.

    It's not a portrait of a political figure or a famous person, but one of a fellow human being and his struggle. So beautifully done.

    I think an artist painting what he or she sees and feels really should be the essence of creation -- and that could and may be very likely to be different from the one held by the viewer. A painting with a view, a point and an opinion is different from a propaganda painting (growing up in China I am sadly so familiar with those...), and the viewers should have the tolerance for a good painting with an opinion (although I thing capturing a genuine likeliness of the subject with sympathetic eyes hardly qualify as strong opinion and shouldn't really anger anyone even with a strong antipathy for the subject...). I am not a supporter for a lot of George W Bush's policies, but every so often I come across beautifully painted portraits of him, capturing the wittiness and humor, the "ordinary folk" looks and the "little boy" kind of innocence look of him, I can still really appreciate them. I really hope the nation is not so polarized that the only stand good art can take is being that of a propaganda and unify or agonize people...

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  11. This is incredible! I keep looking at the wonderful, subtle color that sculpt the facial planes.

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  12. This is incredible! I keep looking at the wonderful, subtle color that sculpt the facial planes.

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  13. You are one hellva painter woman!!

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