I believe that the strength and determination to over-come obstacles and consistently win becomes etched in a person’s features over time. This is the feeling I had when I met Frank for his sitting. He still has that calm determination, clarity and strength reflected in his eyes.
During the sitting we spoke at length about his past in tennis and about his life since then. To familiarize myself with his features and character, I did a painting sketch of him whilst we spoke. I also took casual photos whilst we were in conversation. I wanted to capture Frank in the moments he recalled the past, his thoughts reflected in his features.
I used the golden mean proportions to locate Frank in the context of his memories. My choice of a landscape format for this portrait was to give his reflective thoughts a space to fill in front of him. These thoughts are fluid and nebulous, with different colours and shadows merging. The space is synonymous with Plato’s cave, like a movie screen of life/reality with shadows flickering across it as it reflects our interpretation of reality and our experience of life.
The wall behind him to the right anchors him to the shallow slice of the present.
The texture, colour and lines in Frank’s face form a narrative of his life and they are complemented by the brilliance of his sharp blue eyes.