Five Portraits

In 2018 Josh Comninellis, video production director of the American Angus Association, asked me to participate in a video that he and his team (Max Stewart and Ali Luety) were making about five people who were recognized as being very important, in a variety of ways, to the development of the Angus cattle breed. In character and accomplishments the five people differed in very significant ways, but there was a common thread in that each had been honored by having a portrait of themselves included in the prestigious Saddle and Sirloin Club headquartered in Louisville, KY. My connection to the five was that I was the artist commissioned to paint all of these portraits.

As part of the presentation I was to be interviewed to give my perceptions of these special livestock leaders, having come to know them in the process of painting their portraits. However as the project evolved my words played a major part in the narration and my involvement as the portraitist was used as the connecting link in telling their stories.

Even if you have never been curious about the livestock industry, you may find this video interesting simply because of the uniqueness of each personality and the experiences, passion and approaches each person profiled brought to their profession. As an artist I find it essential to understand those dimensions in order to create a satisfying portrait. So the video may also give you some insight into my thinking in approaching a portrait commission — the individual characters of the subjects, their lives, their achievements and the things that have motivated them are always my basis and inspiration.