"Honor" by Faith Goldstein 11 x 14 acrylic with white Prismacolor pencil on black, Foam-board
As an artist member of the New Rochelle Art Association, it was my great pleasure to receive a photograph to paint the likeness of a New Rochelle resident and Veteran. My 'jouney' to this finished 'likeness' has not been an easy one, as I am currently dealing with personal challenges... but after misplacing the reference photo, and struggling to 'see' the image in my mind, I quickly took great pride in being a part of this project. I am grateful, for the opportunity, that this Journey helped me to leave some of my own 'darkness' behind.
...the fact is, I had a white canvas on my easel for more than a week; every time I walked past it, I just couldn't 'see' the portrait in my mind. I looked around to see what other surface I could paint on, before giving up on being a part of this project. It seemed at this point that I was not going to get this 'done'. Maybe it is times like these, when we feel like there is nothing to lose, (because it already seems lost), that our best, uninhibited efforts shine through. All I know is, when I placed a sheet of black, foam-board on my easel, I started to see the painting emerge from the darkness. It became a 'him'... living, breathing... sharing my space and asking me to share his story. Most of his story lies in the eyes, and in the American flag, in the background. I saw, and felt, the young man who went to war; I thought about the images he may have seen, that altered his view of the future. I also connected to the man he has become, visible in the reference photo; he carries a strength that I admired while 'sharing this time' with him. I chose to leave the details of war, closer to the black surface; they are left behind... it is the man himself and his love for his Country, and not the soldier, who emerges from the Darkness.