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The hardest genre in the world of art is surely portraiture. To capture the fleeting moments of a person’s soul carries more complexity and perception than merely chasing the effects of light.  I say this as an avid landscape painter who has always had the utmost respect for this art form.  Recently I had the opportunity to observe the portrait artist Frank Yang at work. He was creating live on-site pastel drawings. The models happened to be my 87 year old mother in law and her 57 year old daughter.  Neither had ever had their portraits painted before. Mr. Yang was performing with pastel in the open air, side walk style. Now one might presume that portraits done in this manner might have an effected look, caricatures, born of technique that is often applied to each and every sitter in the same way.   So I was astonished at Mr. Yang’s results. He had in both portraits captured their unique inner spirit.  He was able in the brightness of the day to see into their personalities. He understood them at some hidden level. He draws with an active and quick hand. He knows his anatomy well. Colors never are over worked. They converge with a vigor that resonates with a life force that is more than simple animation. They capture the sitter in the fleeting moment of time.  My aged mother is seen with all her beauty intact, yet no enhancement was added, no embellishment to falsify the character. He painted her has she is and yet left the imprint of nobility and long suffering that is the integrity of her being. With my sister in law he rendered a likeness that is both uncanny and empathetic. She is celebrated in her true nature. Middle aged, mother of three, now divorced, yet willfully determined and more curious in life than ever before. He captured this deeper character, her resilient and true nature that neither camera nor mirror can ever see.  

 

                                                                                               written by   Roderick Smith

 

 

 

 

Hoover and I found each other at a dog show about four years ago. He had just been retired from the show ring. Need I say it was instant love? We have lived together from then on.

Ruth's portrait of Hoover not only captures the very essence of my Hoover, it portrays so well the soulful and loyal expression so typical of the English Springer Spaniel.

Hoover is almost nine years old now, I know some day we will no longer be able to be together in this life. This painting of Hoover, however, means I will have him near me forever. 

 Michaelyn Fidone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Copyright 2004 Oil Paintings By Ruth Read
Last modified: July 25, 2010