I am rather pleased of my picture of Grandad Kelly. I had to abandon my first attempt entirely and briefly worried that, because he has been dead for five years and I have no large or digital photographs, I may have forgotten what he looked like. As it is, this is what he looked like. Roughly
I had and still have a bit of a dilemma about this painting. Grandad has something which I understand to have been a type of skin cancer which had to be regularly treated but never caused any harm besides a permanent red make. on the bridge of his nose. I wasn't sure whether to pretend it wasn't there. In the end I decided to put it in, and to be honest it does look somewhat less prominent on the actual picture than it does on the screen - at least on my screen.
But what do you think? I had a similar issue with the mole of my friend Vic who I'm painting, but I spoke to Vic about it and we decided it was best left in. Grandad's cancer or ulcer or whatever you call it is another issue; it's not nearly so becoming as Vic's mole, but it was part of what he looked like. Does it stand out a mile? Does it look like an accident?
It is an emotional business painting dead people. I also wonder what my Granny Kelly will make of the picture when she sees it. They had an excellent marriage for just short of sixty years; in the original photo I used to paint him, he had his arm around her.
Unfortunately, my pain has crept up a lot in the last few weeks and I have been temporarily banned from sitting the chair that I use for painting. I'm not sure that'll make any difference but the pain is beginning to become a real problem again and I'm prepared to try a few things before resorting to harder drugs.