I stepped outside my comfort zone to try to bring to canvas my mentor, Bert Seabourn, an internationally renowned expressionist. I wanted to evoke the vibrance he brings to his own work and the kindness in the face of the man himself.
To keep him company, I took one of Bert’s favourite symbols, the kingfisher. The kingfisher is a medicine animal of great importance to the Cherokee and Bert puts them in his own paintings as a symbol of boldness, courage and skill. So the colours of the kingfisher dominate the painting, their wings extended in pursuit of their purpose – elegant and swift, with an uncanny accuracy. A single bird sits quietly on his shoulder.
Ultimately, the success of a portrait is in not only in the likeness, but in capturing the personality it is meant to represent. I hope I have achieved that, because it would be the best way I could honour the teacher who nudged me toward boldness through his generous nature, his courage and his skill.