No. 6 - The Apology
Using established methods (drawing first) and a little bit of extra time (2.5 hours instead of 1 or less), I was able to produce a portrait of Mayor Nenshi of Calgary that I am quite happy with. In fact, of the 6 I have done so far, it is my favourite.
It came together slowly and surely. In fact, through much of the process it didn't look good at all. However, I trusted the process that I have developed over 500 paintings and what will be three years in June, and it turned into quite a lovely capture of the man.
A troll on Twitter (@ratfreealberta) suggested that this is an exercise in "suck uppingness". This guy is hilarious, though he is wrong. I have no vested interest in connecting with or impressing the mayor of a city that is 8 hours to the south. My interest is in following a creative instinct and seeing where it takes me. I'm also keenly interested on the composition of the nine paintings that will result, including the out-of-proportion Number 5 from the night before. The imperfection is part of the story, an essential ingredient in the journey.
My appreciation of Nenshi the politician is superficial at best, ill-informed at worst. I don't follow Calgary municipal politics at all. That said, I met Mayor Nenshi at a number of events when I was a municipal councillor here in Wood Buffalo and have attended a few events in my post-political life where he was speaking. I am a fan of his communication skills. He is a great speaker and deeply committed to arts and culture as being foundations of a strong, vibrant community. That is where my knowledge and appreciation of Nenshi starts and ends. I've also grown to appreciate the nuances of his face and discover something new each time I paint his portrait.
Numbers 7, 8 and 9 will complete this project. By Friday night I should be able to share the final results.