Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tai-Shan Schierenberg's Seamus Heaney (2004).
I chose this portrait for this week's blog primarily because I like the style of painting and the way the flesh tones and background were treated by the artist. Tai-Shan Schierenberg, award winning artist, is noted and commissioned for painting portraits of royal figures and figures of importance. The subject of this portrait, Seamus Heaney, is a prominent literary figure in London. Yet despite his status in the literary community and Schierenberg chooses to capture a natural and very detailed portrayal instead of a more 'prestigious' or 'grandiose' type of style (had I not typed Seamus Heaney into my handy search engine I would not have thought he was an award winning scholar by appearance). I think by keeping the background so light and neutral in color he is able to achieve a nice contrast between Seamus's face and clothing and really gives the subject dimension and depth. The brush strokes that are evident even on the glossy page of the text give the flesh and the clothing in this painting a great texture. After having read the brief description of the process by which this artist brings his works to life, it is clear that his method for retaining the details he sees in person, and translating them into his works, is an effective one.

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