Making faces

PILLEN FAMILY

Sometimes people ask me, Why do you paint mostly portraits?

That’s not an easy question to answer, but I think it’s because faces just lead me to everything about nature.  It’s so interesting and so challenging – every time you make a change it changes their expression. Every time I see them they’re looking at me differently.

With faces and people I get to know about nature.  For one thing, you have to put them somewhere – they can’t just be there. But really it’s about getting to know them and then getting to know myself.

Anyway, nature is human nature.

When I see paintings that are totally without people, the world seems dead. Nature seems dead without people, like doomsday.

If you paint faces, critics call it portraiture. But I don’t call it that.  To me that’s an insult, because portraiture is  usually not very good.  They make a fuss about John Singer Sargent  – not because he painted portraits, but because somehow he transcended that.

One of my favorites is this picture of Boris and Tracy and Polia Pillin.  I did it very fast.  Maybe one day people will see that it’s not a portrait – it’s a painting.

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4 responses to “Making faces

  1. this is a bit odd…I remember Polia as being….gaunt!

    >________________________________ > From: connections/galya pillin tarmu >To: carlottapm@yahoo.com >Sent: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 12:50 PM >Subject: [New post] Making faces > > WordPress.com >galyatarmu posted: ” Sometimes people ask me, Why do you paint mostly portraits? That’s not an easy question to answer, but I think it’s because faces just lead me to everything about nature. It’s so interesting and so challenging – every time you make a change it chang” >

    • Dear Carlotta, I think you are looking at the wrong person. Polia is the person seated below Boris and Tracy. Tracy, Boris’s wife, is the not so gaunt person. She died a few months ago. Very sad. Much love, Galya

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