I have been relatively busy as of late, working on two portraits for my husband Bill’s birthday a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t quite manage to finish them both in time, but as with all painting projects, it’s difficult to estimate how long they will actually take to complete. My husband, however, was pleased as punch either way, which let me off the hook. 🙂

Portrait of Bill – By Maria Jones-Phillips, 2020. Oil on canvas. 24×30 in.

I took the photo for Bill’s full length, seated portrait on his 60th birthday, two years hence. The cat, the red Persian rug and the ficus in the background were all embellishments. The cat, Lady Guinevere herself, is of course, a beloved member of the family. The rug and the pot-plant were fictitious additions. I wish I had a big red Persian rug. I felt the composition needed balancing in terms of colour and texture, and I think these extra elements were successful in achieving my vision – such that it is. The cat was particularly challenging to paint, but then, she’s particularly challenging in life too, so no real surprise there.

My second portrait was a selfie, as requested by my husband some time ago. The last time I did a self-portrait was when I was 21, and it was only a small one in graphite. I’m generally not big on taking selfies, so it was interesting to be scrutinising myself in such detail.

Self-portrait – By Maria Jones-Phillips, 2020. Oil on canvas, 18×24 in.

Over all however, I’m happy with the way the painting turned out. Though I am ready to move on to the next project in the queue: A portrait of my eldest son, Avery. He’s primed and ready to go. I shall probably start working on that one today, providing I don’t get sidetracked within the next half hour (easily done…).

Portrait of Avery – Work in progress, by Maria Jones-Phillips, 2020. Primed with acrylic in order to seal the ink of the detailed layout sketch.

I’ve been searching for a way to describe my painting style and decided that I’m going to borrow the cinematic term, Neorealism. It seems to fit quite nicely into my conceptual aesthetic. What do you think?

I’ve had three people enquire as to whether I do commissions or not. I guess that’s not a bad idea. If you’d like to pay me lots of money for a finely crafted portrait, then I shall be more than happy to oblige. 😀

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