Portfolio of Literary Portraits

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Published in: on January 16, 2018 at 12:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Damsel with a Dulcimer

2009, Oil on Panel, 8 x 10″

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
 

-Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Kubla Khan

Published in: on December 30, 2017 at 11:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Flora Poste

flora-poste_oil-on-canvas_30-x-40

2016, Oil on Canvas, 30 x 40″

Flora inherited, however, from her father a strong will and from her mother a slender ankle. The one had not been impaired by always having her own way nor the other by the violent athletic sports in which she had been compelled to take part, but she realized that neither was adequate as an equipment for earning her keep.

 -Stella Gibbons, Cold Comfort Farm

Published in: on December 30, 2017 at 11:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dorian Gray I

2008, Oil on Panel, 8 x 10″

Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.

–Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Published in: on December 30, 2017 at 11:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Isabel Archer: Portrait of a Lady

Isabel Archer Portrait of a Lady

2014, Oil on Canvas, 36 x 48”

“Well,” said Henrietta, “you think you can lead a romantic life, that you can live by pleasing yourself and pleasing others. You’ll find you’re mistaken. Whatever life you lead you must put
your soul in it–to make any sort of success of it; and from the moment you do that it ceases to be romance, I assure you: it becomes grim reality! And you can’t always please yourself; you must sometimes please other people. That, I admit, you’re very ready to do; but there’s another thing that’s still more important–you must often displease others. You must always be ready for that–you must never shrink from it. That doesn’t suit you at all–you’re too fond of admiration, you like to be thought well of. You think we can escape disagreeable duties by taking romantic views–that’s your great illusion, my dear. But we can’t. You must be prepared on many occasions in life to please no one at all–not even yourself.”

—Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

Published in: on December 30, 2017 at 11:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Jane Eyre

jane-eyre_oil-on-panel_16x20

2016, Oil on Panel, 16 x 20″

‘Were you happy when you painted these pictures?’ asked Mr.Rochester presently.

‘I was absorbed, sir: yes, and I was happy. To paint them, in short, was to enjoy one of the keenest pleasures I have ever known.’

‘That is not saying much. Your pleasures, by your own account, have been few; but I daresay you did exist in a kind of artist’s dreamland while you blent and arranged these strange tints.

 -Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Published in: on December 30, 2017 at 11:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Elizabeth Bennett: Pride and Prejudice

elizabeth-bennet

2016, Oil on Canvas, 30 x 40″

Elizabeth, having rather expected to affront him, was amazed at his gallantry; but there was a mixture of sweetness and archness in her manner which made it difficult for her to affront anybody; and Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her.

 -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Published in: on December 30, 2017 at 11:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

An Artful Place

Shopping for Perfume

2014, Oil on Canvas, 36 x 48”

The taxi drew up at a wonderful shop—the sort of shop I would never dare to walk through without a reason. We went in by way of the glove and stocking department, but there were things from other departments just dotted about; bottles of scent and a little glass tree with cherries on it and a piece of white branched coral on a sea-green chiffon scarf. Oh, it was an artful place—it must make people who have money want to spend it madly!

The pale grey carpets were as springy as moss and the air was scented; it smelled a bit like bluebells but richer, deeper.

“What does it smell of, exactly?” I said. And Rose said:

 “Heaven.”

-Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle

Published in: on December 30, 2017 at 11:25 pm  Comments (1)  

Orlando: “Sitting still in a chair and thinking”

Orlando Sitting Still in a Chair and Thinking

2011, Oil on Canvas, 64 x 64”

What can the biographer do when his subject has put him in the predicament in which Orlando has now put us? Life, it has been agreed by everyone whose opinion is worth consulting, is the only fit subject for novelist or biographer; life, the same authorities have decided, has nothing whatever to do with sitting still in a chair and thinking. Thought and life are as the poles asunder. Therefore—since sitting in a chair and thinking is precisely what Orlando is doing now—there is nothing for it but to recite the calendar, tell one’s beads, blow one’s nose, stir the fire, look out of the window, until she has done. Orlando sat so still that you could have heard a pin drop. Would, indeed, that a pin had dropped! That would have been life of a kind.

-Virginia Woolf, Orlando

Published in: on December 30, 2017 at 11:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Summer

summer_oil-on-panel_12x16

2016, Oil on Panel, 12 x 16″

Shy as the squirrel and wayward as the swallow,
Swift as the swallow along the river’s light
Circleting the surface to meet his mirrored winglets,
Fleeter she seems in her stay than in her flight.
 

-George Meredith, ‘Love in the Valley’

Published in: on December 30, 2017 at 11:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Queen of Snow

queen-of-snow_oil-on-canvas_48x60

2016, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 60″

The night is darkening round me,
The wild winds coldly blow;
But a tyrant spell has bound me,
And I cannot, cannot go.
 

-Emily Bronte, ‘The Night is Darkening Around Me’

Published in: on December 30, 2017 at 11:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Lucas as a Fop

Lucas Fop

2011, Oil on Canvas, 44 x 96”

Look upward where the white gull screams,
What does it see that we do not see?
Is that a star? or the lamp that gleams
On some outward voyaging argosy,–
Ah! can it be
We have lived our lives in a land of dreams!
How sad it seems.
 

-Oscar Wilde, Her Voice

Published in: on December 30, 2017 at 11:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Lura: Art for Art’s Sake

2012, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 36″

 

Published in: on December 30, 2017 at 11:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Miranda: The Tempest

miranda_oil-on-canvas_22x30

2016, Oil on Canvas, 22 x 30″

Miranda. Sweet lord, you play me false.

 -William Shakespeare, The Tempest

Published in: on December 30, 2017 at 10:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Milly: Wings of the Dove

milly-wings-of-the-dove_oil-on-panel_18x24

2016, Oil on Panel, 18 x 24″

‘Everything suits her so—especially her pearls. They go so with her old lace. I’ll trouble you really to look at them.’ Densher, though aware he had seen them before, had perhaps not ‘really’ looked at them, and had thus not done justice to the embodied poetry…. ‘She’s a dove,’ Kate went on, ‘and one somehow doesn’t think of doves as bejeweled. Yet they suit her down to the ground.’

 -Henry James, The Wings of the Dove

Published in: on December 30, 2017 at 10:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Self-Portrait: Aestheticism

Self-Portrait Aestheticism

2012, Oil on Panel, 16 x 16”

To burn always with this hard, gem-like flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life.

-Walter Pater, The Renaissance

Published in: on December 30, 2017 at 10:45 pm  Leave a Comment