This is a delightful self-portrait of the artist.
The artist shows confidence in the techniques he chose to use in this painting. Using the ‘rule of thirds’ he has roughly broken the canvas into thirds, both vertically and horizontally. The placement of the subject on the canvas is slightly off centre. This positioning comforts the viewer’s sense of balance. The subject’s eyes rest on the top horizontal line inside the painting and they invite the viewer to enter the canvas at eye level. The light source comes from the front of the painting.
As in most of his people paintings, the artist elongated the face and neck, and exaggerated facial features, predominantly the green eyes. They are focused and engaged. The subject’s skin tone is more realistic in this painting than in his similar paintings. He has portrayed himself with large, voluptuous lips. Perhaps he did this because he considered himself a lovable and sensual man despite his disability.
The artist used three primary colours, blue, red and yellow to create this ‘portrait’. The colours are vivid and add extra energy to the painting. A mix of blue and yellow paint results in the tertiary colour, green, and there are green highlights on his patterned shirt. His soft, white hair neutralises the bold colours and aids in giving the painting a fresh, relaxed feeling. So do some discreet, starry ‘dots’, or ‘stippling’ on the background of the painting. Also, his shape is pronounced by the darker blue colour of the background.
The meanings of the colour yellow, (according to some colour therapists), include words such as ‘generous’ and ‘courageous’. The artist owned both of these traits.
This painting portrays the man ’Phil Whatmore’ very well indeed.
Acrylic on Masonite, later career. (Cleaned and framed.)