Resonance In Portraiture

Baby Blue, watercolor, 2005



I sometimes get asked why I don't paint portraits any more. In fact, many of my art friends whom I befriended recently don't even know that that's what I used to do. So I made a little journey down the memory lane and revisited my past portraiture work.


Anticipation, watercolor, 2008

Brazilian Boy, watercolor, 2007


The reason why I switched to landscapes was demand and prolificity. I thrive in a situation where ideas are flooding and paintings happily fall off the brush. That's what happens when I paint landscapes. Portraiture, for me, is a whole different story. I would describe the process as one of profound aloneness.

I get a similar feeling from looking at still images of people, or at brushmarks on paintings of masters. Traces of someone's presence. The idea of an individual standing against the grand - eternity, humankind, universe. Resonance with something absent, that we know is or was alive and dear.

Resonance is one of the intriguing mysteries of science. Nikola Tesla is a national hero where I come from, and his experiments with resonance are still considered futuristic and inexplicable. I think of the process of portraiture as of releasing life from materials. In  my mind, the image picks up a lifeline resonance from the artist's ability to accurately strike the right cord.

It is a unique feeling that I get from seeing a pale face emerge from the paper, layer by layer, trying to say something to me. I don't paint eyes until the very end - I don't think I could bear their stare.

There is always a sense of love, sorrow, and betrayal in a finished portrait. As if I have enticed the image, but failed to fulfill some promise.



Timeless Beauty, watercolor, 2004

Long Beach Bounty

Long Beach Bounty, acrylic, 20x24, by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki, copyright: the artist

This painting is presently on display in the Hycroft Gallery, as a part of a two-artist show. I have nine paintings on display there. Access is free tonight, Feb 4, 6:30-8pm, and for the rest of the February (until March 2), but after today, access needs to be arranged by phoning the gallery at  604 731 4661.

Landscape paintings by realist painter Patricia banks are also on display, so the show is an exciting mix of expressionist and realist landscape paintings. I am quite amazed how the two styles complement each other, especially since the subject matter is unified, featuring majestic Canadian Rockies and serene beaches of British Columbia.

I am really excited about meeting the art lovers at the opening reception tonight!

Tatjana