Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Portrait of Contradiction~ Soldier Boy

Soldier Boy
Pastel Portrait by Melody Phaneuf

Artists typically use the human form to express emotions, ideas, and states of mind. In portraiture facial expression, costume, and setting can communicate more about the person than the likeness.

Soldier Boy is a study in contradiction. The soldier's penetrating gaze is sometimes stern, sometimes gentle. There is a proud austerity to the pose; the sitter appears rigid, yet somehow vulnerable. Somber tones in the background blend into the uniform giving a narrow variation of color, helping to support the feeling of restraint.

There is a slant of light that illuminates the dark and falls across the head. It adds a touch of brilliance to the blue uniform and leads us back to the eyes, perhaps more penetrating than our first encounter.

Who was Soldier Boy before the uniform? The swirling pattern in the background suggests a sense of motion that belies the static pose. Perhaps it is headiness at his ideals of freedom. Or possibly it is the last glimpse of an identity, soon to be lost forever.

Soldier Boy by Melody Phaneuf, 16 x 20 Pastel Painting

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Boston Artist, Melody Phaneuf is well known for her evocative landscape, still life, and portrait paintings. Phaneuf's paintings are regularly on view at The Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury Street; at Fenway Studios, Boston by appointment; and North Shore Art in Gloucester from May through October. Phaneuf has exhibited her paintings at The National Arts Club in New York City, Galerie Herouet in Paris, and with Art du Monde, in Japan.

Melody The Artist Home, founded with photographer and color specialist, Martha DiMeo showcases the artist's original paintings on tumbled marble tile murals and coasters, fine art prints, and handmade note cards.

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