We care less now about the subjects than the paintings, which reaffirm that the business of commissioned portraiture—historically treated as a second-level endeavor—was capable of producing breathtaking stuff, art of the first rank.
An American expatriate living in Paris during the 1920s, Eugene McCown painted men in various stages of intimacy, though the homoerotic charge of his paintings was never mentioned by critics.
Anybody who has drawn or painted for any length of time realizes that the intensity of creative work cannot be maintained at a consistent level. There are times when I am overwhelmed with visual ideas and wish I had another pair of hands to set down my perceptions. At other times everything seems dormant, though I realize that this is part of the ebb and flow of life.
Is my visual message strong, simple, and to the point? Have I gone beyond the subject and touched on a more profound universal truth? Have I overworked this to the point of no return?
I marvel at the beauty and generosity of the people who allow me to search into and contemplate them. What is the source of their strength? What wounds are they carrying? How are we the same and how are we different? How can I do justice to my sitter’s integrity?
I am always trying for a visual synthesis of the sensual realism in Baroque still lifes and the cerebral structure of cubist still lifes, not quite there yet, but I am reconciled to the fact that painting is about striving rather than arriving.
The past ten years have been incredibly transformative physically, mentally, and spiritually. There is real richness there, something magical and beautiful, which I’m not sure yet how to translate into art.  I am looking forward to creating a body of work that comes from my core. I can feel the stirring and rumbling within, it is coming!
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