This is the root of the mystery of portraiture: the subject sits and the artist interprets. Does the artist allow his or her own thoughts and biases and filters to affect the image? Absolutely! How could it be otherwise? Does the subject reveal all of her innermost thoughts and feelings on her face, in her demeanor, in her micro expressions? Of course! How would she not do so? The portrait can look like the sitter or it can portray the character and being of the sitter. Can it do both?
Lagniappe: This oil painting was completed years ago and hung on the wall in my mother’s house. In a recent visit, I saw the painting and took a photograph. I imported it into an app on my iPad and reworked it. This is the updated version of the portrait of Miss Terri.