Oil on Canvas Portrait Gallery
I’m not a portrait specialist, but have always believed a complete painter must accept that challenge. Certain people made it inevitable for me. My fencing master, who gave me so many valuable life lessons, inspired the first attempts. Dr. Henry H. (“Hank”) Swain became my art patron in 2010 when I wanted to make a painting based on a photo taken by his wife. Two years later he agreed to sit for my version of Rembrandt’s Man in a Golden Helmet, a painting I have always admired. The gorget in the portrait is one I made in steel for my own use (photo in Medieval Artifacts Gallery).
Later, Hank and I, sitting in Metzger’s, my favorite restaurant in Ann Arbor, thought Lisa, our server, would make a nicer “Milkmaid” than the model Vermeer portrayed (a vast understatement). The result was Gut Trinken und Essen which uses elements from six Vermeers mixed with elements from Metzger’s. It portrays four good friends including Hank, facing away from the viewer, and Walter Metzger as the proprietor. The latter is the most accurate portrait in the bunch; hence the detail shown. The original hangs in the restaurant.
King Eli is not technically a portrait but features a friend of many years, the hero of a 1984 SCA Pennsic War battle. I fell in that action and am depicted prone in right foreground.