Process and Pricing

It starts with finding the defining metaphor.  In consultation with my subject in my studio, over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, we talk about the concept.  I listen a lot, gather images, reflect them back.  The metaphor arrives in this way: a rock, a boat, a window, something elemental launches the story.

A camera and a sketch pad record the second phase of the "visual biography."  I frequently go "on site."  Seeing my subjects in their particular environment enhances the information I have gathered by listening.  "Seeing" and "listening" are not mutually exclusive but I find it necessary to concentrate on one or the other as I go about sensing my subject.  It is only after this "seeing" meeting that the various parts of the portrait start to mingle and suggest their composition.

A preliminary sketch incorporates my impressions and outlines the general composition.  Somewhere in this third phase in which the painting is started we meet again to talk about the emerging story/portrait.  As the painting progresses, subtle but dramatic connections occur spontaneously.  My authorship is never total; the unconscious is always at play.

The final phase -- the unveiling -- is quite simply scary ... for both of us.  A bottle of wine is always on hand for this moment of truth.

The written story that accompanies the painting comes later.  It is a reflection on paper that arrives in the form of poetry or prose.  It brings with it another layer of insight, reveals another aspect of the story.

My "visual biographies" cost $2,000: an initial payment of $500, a further payment of $500 when the preliminary sketch has been presented, and a final payment of $1,000 on completion.

Portraiture because of its broad range is costed accordingly.