Sur­prise Ap­pear­ances

Arabella - - NEWS - Gary Michael Dault

writ­ten by

Once asked to de­fine "por­trait," vir­tu­oso so­ci­ety painter John Singer Sargent replied, rather sar­don­ically, "a por­trait is a paint­ing in which there is al­ways some­thing wrong about the mouth." But sup­pose there were noth­ing at all wrong about the mouth. I won­der some­times if a painter who dex­trously man­ages to cap­ture a like­ness, whole and con­vinc­ingly, re­gards this happy en­trap­ment – this pin­ning of a hu­man but­ter­fly to the wheel of a paint­ing – as deeply sat­is­fy­ing. Or as just some­thing to be ex­pected. Is the por­traitist as sur­prised by verisimil­i­tude as any­one else? Frankly, I doubt very much that Win­nipeg­born, Toronto-based painter Ca­r­ole Free­man has much doubt about the ac­cu­rate and per­sua­sive way she man­ages to cap­ture like­ness. In­deed, her re­mark­able fa­cil­ity in that re­gard, many years in de­vel­op­ment, is now win­ning her ku­dos and com­mis­sions at home and in­ter­na­tion­ally. Given her solid, bedrock skills and high rep­re­sen­ta­tional (one hardly dare say "old­fash­ioned") abil­i­ties, it is both sur­pris­ing and ab­sorb­ing to dis­cover a per­haps un­looked for as­pect of Free­man’s prac­tice. That be­ing her un­abashed ro­manc­ing of the dizzy­ing, high­speed world of so­cial me­dia.

left (small) top, pre­vi­ous spread, De­moi­selles (Se­ries: The Green Couch), left (large), Her (Se­ries: Dear Art World), Artist Hold­ing Pic­ture of Artist, Fa­ther (Se­ries: Por­traits of Face­book), left (small) bottom, The Con­nois­seur (Se­ries: Dear Art World), right, Axe (Se­ries: Dear Art World),

acrylic on linen, 52" x 64" graphite and acrylic on my­lar, 72" x 42" graphite and acrylic on my­lar, 7.5" x 7.5" on 8.5" x 11" graphite and acrylic on my­lar, 7" x 6.25" on 8.5" x 11" graphite and acrylic on archival pa­per, 60" x 40"

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