bemusing musings of a bewildered brush-wielder

the second face of islip





A few months ago, I walked into the Chase bank on Main Street in Islip. I submitted a written proposal to the head of the bank, which basically said that I’d like to paint and then exhibit nine portraits of typical people from Islip. In order to obtain clearance, my proposal went from there to some figure higher up in Chase Manhattan corporation, and was then accepted. Chase Manhattan has approved of the exhibition, and pending the success of the Islip exhibition, it might perhaps travel to other banks throughout the New York area.

My wife Margaret was the first portrait. Here is the second portrait, a portrait of an old friend, Jimmy. He is the janitor at the Islip high school, and a janitor at the Islip Presbyterian Church which I used to attend. For a year, the church was kind enough to lend me their chapel as an art studio, and Jimmy was there everyday, laughing and telling stories. I’m going to be perfectly honest for a moment- I’m thrilled with this painting. Just four hours work, and it has such presence. I’ll never know what makes some portraits instantly click- it’s gotta be Jimmy’s awesome hair and beard.


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