Thursday, June 3, 2010

Just finished reading an interesting blog post from May 31st about Sargent's Daughters of Edward Boit at this link (Alchemist's Pillow) so I've been thinking about how difficult it is to capture a likeness, especially with just a few strokes. This is Two Women by Iraqi painter Faik Hassan.

Others have pointed to Bonnard and Picasso as artistic influences (see Art, edited by Robert Benton, p. 273), and that makes sense to me, but what I am amazed by is the ability to nail down these portraits with a few tones and a few swipes of paint. I've been struggling this morning with a face for a commission, wiping it off, starting over again, and so on, and then I open this book and see these two.

Well, he did win a scholarship to go to Paris during the 30s and study at the École des Beaux Arts. (That little piece is missing from my backgound, alas.) Upon his return to Iraq, he established and led the painting and sculpture department of the Institute of Fine Art. In addition to landscapes and portraiture, Hassan also created a large mural in Tiran Square as one of a number of projects he worked on to serve his country. He died in 1992.

Here's one I like from the Dijla Gallery.

Unfortunately, the title is not posted, but it is oil on canvas. Monochromatic scheme works for me, and besides, I've always liked nun paintings. Time for a shrink?


  1. Hi, Suzanne. Thanks for the link and, most especially, for cluing me in on Hassan's work. I visited the gallery and enjoyed his works. Some of the landscapes (P005, poetic title, hugh), remind me a bit of Cezanne as well.

  2. I can't comment on your last question in this post, but some of your Ex-Nunny-Bunny Friends may have influenced your affection!

    Re: your wiping off & starting over . . . there are other artists who've Erased work as an authentic act in itself.

    I just used the cliche yesterday, "Please God give me patience, and I mean NOW".

    Your Rarely Patient but Admiring Friend,

  3. Yes, about the wiping off and erasing, I am sort of exploring obliteration ideas now. Naturally EVERYTHING's been done ten times and better, but I guess we can all hope to bring in our own small tweak or glimmer of an idea. . .thanks from your never patient and not even trying friend.

  4. Only the hand that erases can write the true thing. - Meister Eckhart

    I would think the principle applies equally to painting!