People Portraits Gallery

'People Portraits Gallery'

People have such interesting features, each person is similar and yet we are each unique. To paint the human is to catch the nuisances inline such as; the smirk, a cowlick, a smile and Gawd forbid a wrinkle. 

Tribute Leonard Cohen by Minaz Jantz

Old School Art Gallery 2017 opening theme was to be the inspiration of Canadain musician and songwriter Leonard Cohen. You may read more about this artwork and how I used guitar strings as a hanger for hanging. 

Stephen & Sir Gunther (kitten) Charcoal & Pastel by Minaz Jantz commissioned 2017
2017 Stephen & Sir Gunther (kitten)
Charcoal & Pastel
by Minaz Jantz

I owned a Dodge Colt hatchback and traveled across North America with a bubble storage unit fitted on top of the car's roof. My son Dustin and dog Dixie were very comfortable traveling companions. We looked forward to being on the road again with our stuffed Samsonite suitcases. 

How I enjoyed driving that car and fond memories of our trips together. It was the most useful and comfortable small car with a 5-speed stick, Mitsubishi engine, that served me well on the open highway... the mighty Dodge Colt!

Goddess of Wisdom is an intuitive portrait created with feminine wisdom emerging onto my watercolor paper. A woman's body has been given the miraculous ability to give life to another soul, moving rhythmically in a natural dance, she shares her sparkle dust nurturing the human condition.  

I layered color with thin acrylic paints, pastels, gold and silver inks. I like to scratch the heavy watercolor paper's surface for texture.

I had some old corner frame samples that I decided to use creatively adding foam core for the main surface. Foamcore is strong but lightweight at the same time. The surface can hold just about anything to it with the right glue. I combined craft paints and layers of foils, trim and beads to make the framed art ready to hang!

I confess, that I like to 'people watch' and have a chance to do some of that when we travel and go out on the town. It intrigues me to watch how people move in their skins and look for gesture LINES and what people wear. I like to look at a face with lots of character and catching that moment of sweet innocence on a child's face. 

Larry loves his collector cars and he is also a man who is self-sufficient. He showed me this old photo of himself when he was young and told me how much he enjoyed his VW ride and remembers that one successful fishing hole! 

I used my drafting symbols template to create a pattern texture for the background also hinting at another tidbit about who Larry is a carpenter and can build a house from scratch! Larry also watched the Canadian Comedy, The Red Green show , one of Larry's favorite closing comments by Red on the show, "If the women can not find you handsome, they should at least find you handy". Well, I can say Larry was not so bad to look at but can say he was especially handy!

Artist Robert Genn (passed away 2014) was a mentor and a friend who would drop off art supplies to encourage me to keep painting.  Bob was one of a few people at that time, who encouraged me to jump into the artists' abyss!

Robert gave me acrylic paints and a selection of surfaces to paint on such as various canvases and a few mahogany wood boards 11" x 14".

Baker Boy was my first oil painting. I was supposed to be going somewhere that day but I got completely caught up in my new oil paints and trying them out on the gifted mahogany wood panels. 

Without any drawing preparation, I just went for it until I was mostly finished the portrait at the end of a few hours. The oil paint moved about slickery-dickery-dock and fell in love with this medium instantly and gave up acrylic paint right then and there. 

I picked this photo of my son wearing his favorite kitchen uniform made by his Grandma Jantz. Dustin was taught to bake at a very early age. 

Floating Buddies is painted in memory of the relationship between Dixie, the dog and my son, Dustin. Bassets are short-legged and large body type dogs. They are not so interested in swimming as they roll like a log. BUT Dixie was not going to let Dustin go out in his inner tube and would swim out to corral him back to shore. The SOLUTION was to get an air mattress so Dixie could ride with him. 

Winter Apples is a portrait of Dustin and Bill, the neighbour's horse, who loved to follow Dustin around the field. Bill liked to initiate some kind of play, poking with his nose to snuffle his sleeve! 

Winter Apples is painted with pastel on one of my favourite surfaces called UART pastel paper. I used a spiral shape to influence the design & composition to create an intimacy shared at just that moment.

Open Wide is another photo moment with a neighbors horse named Bill. He was a good animal friend of Dustin's childhood. We were moving away and wanted to come back one last time to say goodbye. 

Lazy Boy Cowboy is a portrait of my sister's father-in-law in his favorite plaid chair that both have seen better days! 

The people I chose to draw upon have been a part of my life, and to express a 'snip it' of time. I like to paint faces that spark a story in my painter's eye. Drawing in a sketch pad, I will practice quick gesture drawings when in public, hiding incognito, not wanting people to notice me while drawing quickly. Each person has something to emanate from their souls and it takes lots of observational skills for a painter to share that life force through their pencil or paint. 

Some of my people portraits have been inspired by old photos.

My sister had just arrived home with a baby injured hawk from the rescue they did that day. She had worked for an Orphan Wildlife Sanctuary at the time and brought it home for overnight care but sadly the bird did not make it through to the next day.

Years ago, I had some time and money to study drawing and painting at an art studio. I took some classes at the Vancouver Art Academy and had the instructor and school founder, Micheal Britton who got me started in portrait drawing... he would often say to us students, "use your Martini eye to view the model"...  Doing the martini eye/squinting helps to simplify the face into shapes so the mind doesn't grab at the symbolic details which are a sure-fire way for a beginner going into a tailspin.  I kept my old notes and drawings from those classes which come in handy for review and have since purchased several of his videos.

A neighbor in our loft building came by my loft for some keys, when I noticed the 'sparkle dust' energy all over this new mum and son. I dreamed about doing their portrait that night and woke up motivated to make a plan to do so! 

Of course, no child is going to sit still for anyone so we planned an afternoon and took a bunch of spontaneous photos, trying to capture a special moment. He had just finished his nap and was up for some fun so mum picked him up and started to fly him in the air which he loved and laughed. This was my special moment caught on camera. 

To start their portrait, I studied all the photos to see their gestures and picked one to draw in pencil, using guidelines and adjusting anything that does not seem right to me before I start to use the pastel sticks. I liked to think I captured the joy of a mother and child in play with this portrait. 

The background light effect was to emulate the Madonna and baby Jesus type portraits so popular in religious icon paintings. 

My paper choice was not my usual but I liked to try something different, getting out of comfort zones. I also tried out a new pastel technique called stippling. The backside of the dark blue Canson paper is textured so I thought this would be the perfect surface to try out the stippling technique with lots of little dots of pastel colors in layers, all over the surface. Can read more here...

Bangkok Grandma & Grandchild was a family we met while traveling to Thailand in 2006. There was a coup going on in Thailand and the military was seen in various areas of Thailand. We stayed at a small quaint resort in Kanchanaburi and here is where I met and chatted with this lovely older woman. We made friends over a few days and talked a lot about world issues and she invited us to a small family gathering, very relaxed and informal but had several Buddhist Monks performing a ceremony for the family. We later would feast on authentic Thai cuisine. 

It turns out days later, Nid says, she is a Princess of Thailand, and the family is laying low during the coup and this quaint little resort belongs to her son. One morning before she left with a full military escort back to Bangkok, she was having morning toast sharing with her grandchild, also a Princess. I asked permission if I could take a photo of her in the lovely silk embroidery wrap with her adorable grandchild. Read more here in my travel journals.

I wanted to paint this portrait, reclaiming the memory of the reflected light coming from the roof screen that has a greenish glow from the bamboo and large green plants. The Thai's use lots of gold leafing on their Buddhist shrines so I found a good reason to work with gold leafing into the background of the painting. 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and how an artist presents their subject!... Minaz

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