"I've got an idea for you to play with," said Bruce, when I ran into him at the Community Gathering on May 3rd.

"Art is try," he said.  "Artistry is art-is-try."

I kept thinking of this idea as I dived into a portrait of Marcel Marceau on the weekend.  I had just finished another commission piece and I felt like I needed something that was purely driven by inspiration.

In a folder called "Future", I keep images that have grabbed my attention in some way over the years. I was actually looking for something completely different when Marceau's portrait popped up.  For an inexplicable reason, it felt like it was time to try the famous actor and mime.

His face in the shot was a little different as it largely covered with white make-up.  I did a lot of work trying to find the right contrast between his neck, unadorned with make up, and his iconic clown face.  I tried a bunch of different things before getting to the point where I was ready to add the hair.

As I looked at the finished portrait, I didn't feel that it was expressing the energy of the artist in the way that I wanted.

In the spirit of "try", I grabbed some high flow white paint and three different colours and took the painting outside.  I knew it was time to add some splatters to the piece, but I didn't want to accidentally impose bits of colour on the array of finished paintings in the studio.

The first flick of teal ended up being a little too close to the canvas and made contact - not my intention, but a happy accident nonetheless.  The energy I wanted to express was now there because I chose to try.

Art IS try.  Thank you Bruce.


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