Face Appearing from a First Wash
Almost alive, jumping off the paper and speaking to me.
Unfinished Original Watercolour by Jean Haines
There are times when everyone needs the presence of a very special friend. A rock to lean on, someone familiar to watch over a shoulder saying everything will be fine. I have felt as though I have been living in a dream these last few weeks.With only weeks to go until the launch of my book at the Mall Galleries in London I find myself caught up in a whirlwind of events which include charity evenings,delivering work to galleries and working on press release information for several occasions coming up.
This afternoon I am in my studio with several paintings that need to be completed for exhibitions but a "friend" was calling to me. I stopped what I was working on,followed my heart and decided to paint him. It seems he knows when the time is right for him to "appear" because this first wash of him seems so magically alive.
I keep coming across the same question at demonstrations and workshops.
How did you start selling professionally?
Although the answer is too long for this blog entry my first subjects that became really popular were faces. I had been told at the time that portraits rarely sold in galleries.But my passion for capturing the incredible faces that I saw in Dubai was so strong I continued to paint what I loved most. And they did sell. "Magic Faces" became collectable and I adored working on them. From first delicate washes of colour to the final hints of detail characters appeared on paper in an unusual and effective way.
I still return to painting them in between other work. One is a favourite character which I normally fall upon for a break from my other commitments. But I have a new portrait of an old fisherman whose expression tells me he has had an interesting life far removed from my own. Probably a simple one, catching fish daily ,taking them to the market to be sold at a fair price and then spending time with his family. He probably has a million stories to tell of days gone by when things were so very different to today. I could probably tell a few stories myself of how I came to photograph such amazing people in incredible surroundings.
This afternoon I lost myself completely in this face and thoroughly enjoyed the escape from reality where my life has become so full of activity from each day to the next.
Quietly moving my brush I felt this old mans wisdom as he whispered to me.
I am listening!