'James'

‘James’

Do opposites attract–the portraitist?

Everything about this man except his first name is unknown to me. But to my eyes our model had the posture, the dress, the haircut of the military man.

Models affect me in various ways, usually a growing feeling of liking. But other times, as with James, I get uneasy–but try to go beyond it.

How? By looking for some elements of common humanity. What I remember most about this man is his grit. The brilliant light over his shoulder kept irritating his eyes.

Still like a good soldier, he saw his duty and he did it! He put up with it all, not only the irritating shine–but [I would guess] the softness, the silliness, of the artists around him. James has my gratitude for that.

By the finish, his angular features became a true pleasure. And even though we come from worlds apart, his determination to be a good model and respect the artists’ process endeared him to me. In a modest way.

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