Meet Leslie!

Actually many of you know Leslie already! Leslie of Leslie Paints is an artist, an art teacher, an art blogger, and a friend of mine.

I keep thinking how the world is changing before my eyes. I remember times when people wrote letters to communicate, I remember having a pen-pal. I hear people still do the pen-pal thing now, but it has become a sort of creative anachronism. What people really do now is Internet. As do I. I met Leslie in blogosphere and we became friends. End of story. We never met in person, not yet, but I think of her more often, communicate with her more frequently, get more out of our connection than from a number of people I say Hello to in person in the hallway. Communities of Internet age… an interesting subject… I understand it is part of today’s Social Anthropology taught in schools.

If you haven’t met Leslie, go and check her work on her blog Leslie Paints. She is very good. Well, she is a professional. Which makes me very much unsure of myself posting this portrait. How does a novice make a portrait of a mentor… On top of being wonderfully talented Leslie is a generous, sharing, thoughtful person. And she is so beautiful! Which presents yet another challenge. Beauty is so exact and elusive, a millimeter off here or there and beauty is gone in a puff of eraser debris. I hope I did Leslie justice here.

For this portrait Leslie wore a Chicago shirt – in my honor. I truly appreciate the gesture, Leslie. So I had to acknowledge this thoughtfulness by showing the letters on the sketch. It took forever!!! Leslie sweetie, let’s have a plain shirt next time please… 😳

#10 of 40. Graphite, pastel (for letters), Moleskine Cahier sketchbook


11 thoughts on “Leslie

    • Leslie is amazing! We are in a complete agreement on that! Thank you for your comment on the drawing. Making these letters so reminded me the technical drawing course I was required to take in high school. Architectural scripting was a part of it, the letters had to be so painfully exact, it wasn’t funny :D!

  1. OMG! You drew my portrait better than I could ever render ME!!!!! Thank-you for the praises, Alex. I have not met such kind partners in art as I have here in blogland. What stands out the most is that artists, in this community are so willing to reach out and share and be interested in what each other is doing. I just thought it would be kind of “cool” to wear the “Chicago” shirt as it would be fun to add an “EXTRA”, 🙂 . I hope you are planning to do a new self portrait for Linda’s Self Portrait Challenge: http://lindahalcombfineart.wordpress.com/2010/09/11/reminder-end-of-summer-art-challenge/ and for your sketchbook!

    Question: Have you or anyone else, for that matter, noticed that others can render your portrait better than you can? We must see ourselves differently. You ROCK, Alex! You captured me! THANK_YOU! I will treasure this!!

    • Oh oh oh, what a relief! You like it! 🙂 I was rather worried. Actually was thinking what did I get myself into asking to draw a portrait of a portraitist. You are so kind! I was kidding about the shirt of course, I am really tickled pink that you had a Chicago shirt on.

      Yes, I remember about Linda’s self-portrait “non-challenge”. The drawing is already done, I am just saving it to post on the right date :mrgreen:.

      In answer to your question – it depends. My father has a book “Artists’ Self Portraits”, it is full of amazing faces, from the likes of Leonardo, Durer, Goya, Van Gogh, Courbet, Sargent, and on and on. Not to forget about Rembrandt and his search for the soul while making his 90+ self portraits. So in the case of great masters: No, I don’t think that someone else could have made Rembrandt’s portrait better than himself, different – yes, better – it is not the point.

      Having said that, I did notice that we see ourselves differently from inside as compared to how another artist sees us from the outside. I speculate that the view from the outside potentially has more objectivity and may be less colored with a notion of how we want to look. When we work on a self-portrait we have all this luggage that we carry: how we looked 10, 20 years ago, how we want to look if life were perfect, how we looked on a particular bad hair day or the last time we had stomach flu. I believe we unconsciously bring all these notions into our self-portrait. An external view is free from all that and, provided the skill is there, can offer a surprising fresh perspective.

  2. Alex, you did a fantastic job with Leslie’s portrait. She showed me some of the pictures she sent you and I just LOVE what you did. I have to say, although you said the CHICAGO

  3. whoops, I hit send by accident. What I was saying was although you said the CHICAGO letters were hard to do, the red really gives the portrait punch.

    I think you a fantastic job and both you and Leslie should be very happy with the final result.

    • Leslie was hard! She sent me a couple of wonderful photos, but the face was in a shadow lit from the back in both of them. I got excited at the opportunity to draw a back-lit portrait, but did not realize until I was in the thick of it that it is much harder than with normal front or side lighting. There was no going back though, I did not fancy removing the page from the book, and there was no way I would bother Leslie for a differently lit reference. So I soldered on. I am so relieved it worked out, it would have been an awful embarrassment otherwise…

      Talking about Leslie’s portrait reminds me… I am sending you an email.

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