Jon Sarkin's studio
I stopped by Jon Sarkin's Gloucester studio last week. Sarkin, who was featured in the 2006 DeCordova Annual, has been painting portraits lately. He explains:
When I started going to a portrait drawing/painting group, about five years ago, I mentioned to my dear friend and fellow artist, Susan Erony, that I had decided to learn to draw people. She said that she loves to draw the human face/figure because it's the only thing we draw where we know how it feels like to be that thing, and we can bring our feelings of being a fellow human being to our art. I mean, when we draw a picture of the ocean or a tree or whatever, we've no idea what it's like to be that thing, so whatever feelings we bring to THIS subject are anthropomorphic and un-genuine, no matter how objective we try to be. Yes?
Anyway, I guess this is why I draw portraits, especially self-portraits, because I REALLY know how it feels to be me, and not you or whoever.
I work from other artists work - I especially like drawing self-portraits by other artists, e.g., Van Gogh, Degas, Rembrandt and Tintoretto. I do this because it makes me study very, very closely how these guys did their magic, and I start to feel like they must've felt. This makes me feel important in regards to my art, and I like this feeling.