10″x8″ oil on canvas
“Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.” -Edgar Allan Poe, 1809-1849
I’ve always been fascinated by Poe’s face. I seem to say that a lot, don’t I? I guess that’s the reason caricature caught my attention so early in my career. I get to play with interesting faces, pushing the limits of distortion, yet somehow pulling out the deeper personality of the subject. Faces, distinct faces, are a wonderful source of inspiration. I guess it should be said that all faces are distinct, but there are some that stand out in the crowd. Poe’s was one such face. He seemed to have the mystery of the world in his sad eyes. If you really look at his face and study his eyes, it’s no surprise that his work would be so dark.
I wanted to capture a bit of the darkness and mystery of Poe by painting my oils thinner and glazing until I got the dark luminosity I was trying to achieve. Working thin with turps as a medium allows for quick drying time between glazes. That enabled me to finish it in two work sessions. I wanted it to have that sort of old photograph look. You know? Enjoy!