© Gainor E. Roberts 2014 All the works of art shown in the website are protected by the Copyright Laws of the United States of America and may only be used by permission of the artist.


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I decided early on that I did not want to be a professional portrait painter. I love doing portraits, but on my own terms, which gives me the freedom to do my own thing and not have an agent or dealer between me and my client. I work without contracts and make it very simple for everyone; you like the work you pay. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to pay me, but the work is mine and I can do what I want with it, including trashing it, which has happened, but only occasionally. More often the work becomes a piece I use for getting new clients, and some of my rejected work is the best advertisement I have for my portrait work.

I do only a few portraits now. Times have changed and people don’t have money for such a luxury, and I think that many people feel intimidated by the process of hiring an artist to do a portrait, and then there is the fear of the result…”what if I don’t like it” is more important now than ever before, due to so many people scrambling for money.

I use pastels and oil for my portraits. The pastels are less expensive than a full scale oil painting, as oils are very time consuming, but the end result is very satisfying. The pastels are lovely and usually worked on Mi-Tientes or Art Spectrum paper with the background unworked. Pastels are worked on colored paper so I can coordinate the paper with the sitter or the room décor.

My preference is to take my own photographs of the sitter, either in my own studio or elsewhere. The portraits I did of “Girl By The Lake” and “Boy By The Lake” were photographed at the edge of the lake they lived on, and their mother asked me to place them on the rocks that they loved to play on. The group portrait of “Mario’s Family” was photographed in the gazebo where they were married in a small local park in eastern Connecticut. With these portraits the backgrounds are worked. Sometimes the sitter wants to be with their favorite pet and this is a real exercise in concentration for me!

At one time a portrait was the only record of what a person looked like, and the portrait lived on for generations after the sitter had departed this world. Now we have unlimited resources to capture our lives and our loved ones on digital media, and the need for a formal portrait is not what it once was. But I maintain that portraits, especially if the artist is gifted, has the ability to get into the personality and soul of the sitter and give more than a studio photograph can, unless of course, the photographer is highly gifted. It is difficult to even express this subtle difference in words, as it is almost a spiritual thing, and a really good artist has this ability, along with knowledge of proportions, and anatomy. And of course, skill with drawing and painting are requisite, because one can forgive a landscape painting that isn’t quite right, with a fictional tree in a key place, but a portrait must look like the person or it fails.

Occasionally I have been asked to paint pets. This is a highly specialized area of portrait painting, and the few attempts at pet portraits I have done were very difficult because their “mothers” were incredibly picky about what their pet looked like, and their ideas about my work didn’t jibe with my view of their animals. I do my own pet now!

I have a brochure about my portraits and you are welcome to download a PDF document that contains more information and prices current for 2015.