6 x 8 oil - November 2009
A copy of a black and white reproduction from a painting by Moses Soyer
Back in November of 2009, I was beginning to paint with oils which I hope to resume.
This painting is a loose copy of an 8 x 10 black and white reproduction of a portrait from his book: Painting the Human Figure by Moses Soyer. (brother of Raphael Soyer. This is an early ‘how to’ book, there’s a sweetness about the book – very charming – it was recommended to me when I lived in Toronto by a painter friend.
The arms and hands get short schrift in terms of accuracy. I wasn’t aiming for accuracy I was looking to get something down quickly. I have a feeling that Soyer wasn’t overly concerned with precision either or maybe he had a bit of astigmatism like me as did my father – these visual impediments tend to get handed down. But I’m not being fair, Soyer was actually an excellent draughts-man and very well trained.
Soyer is probably someone I would have enjoyed knowing. His people tend to be sad and soulful looking. If his photographs are any indication he was probably that way himself. Considering that he weathered having to flee from Russia with his parents, then the great depression and the second world war, there’s ample reason for his world weary look.
I am comfortable with people like that I feel protective towards them.
Yet I’m confident that he had a genuine sense of humor – the kind we all develop in order to survive.