A memory that sticks with me to this day is when my grandfather shared with me that for him the most elevated form of painting was when you painted people. He elaborated by telling me that the most valuable thing one could communicate in a painting was human emotion. That if someone was able to feel or be moved by human expression, then your piece was a success. Even though I did not necessarily agree with him, his comments made a lasting impression. As I admired and still deeply value what my grandfather, Julio Montesinos, passed on to me, his words still echo in my mind to this day.
So with my grandfather’s sage advice in mind, I have attempted to paint several portraits over the years. It’s interesting posting images that I finished so long ago. It gives me both an appreciation of where I’ve been and how far I have come. This is my sweet niece Lydia when she was about three years old. I absolutely loved getting to paint her sweet face and trying to capture her wild and fresh spirit.
After that my friend Vera requested a portrait of Queen Esther.
During my painting I class I got the opportunity to practice portraying the human form one more time when I painted a self portrait. Still much to learn in this arena but a fascinating process for sure. And in hindsight, after mulling over my grandfather’s sage advice for several decades and after taking on the challenge of capturing the human spirit on canvas myself, I can say that I do agree with what he was saying, at least in spirit. That if a piece of art can move a human being on a deep level, if it can open someone up in a way that everyday life fails to do, if it allows them to reach or see into their own soul in a deeper way, then you have aspired to the best that art can give.