The Eyes

The Eyes

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Sitting and the Portrait

More than a year ago, master artist Knox Martin told my partner James and I that he wanted to draw our portrait. When he said it, we were thrilled by the gesture. I consider the act of being the object of an artist’s creation to be romantic and burdensome. Romantically, you’re singularly with the artist and his medium, and burdensome knowing that you will be immortalized without control of the outcome.

During a past visit to Knox’s studio, he had both of us sit for him while drawing—first James, then me. I sat in a director’s-type chair about three feet from Knox. He instructed me to look directly at his nose. We didn’t speak as his eyes intently calculated my face. I tried to contain the electricity within to keep my composure while he worked. The feeling was staggering as I listened to his pencil grazing the surface of the paper.

I know there were other things going on around me in the studio, but I was in his contemplation at that moment and I was oblivious to any other activity. Knox later posed us together and took several photographs of which he would use to complete the portrait.

Months later, a cardboard tube arrived at home. Knox completed the drawing. I’ll always remember that moment of elation and joy seeing the reflection of Knox’s vision. I will cherish that image forever.

4 comments:

James Brock said...

Cary~You are making history! I love it!
JKB

Lynette A. Griffin said...

Beautiful, Cary! What a fascinating experience.

Susan G said...

Amazing - I can't even begin to imagine what it felt like and then to see the final product!

Anonymous said...

wonderful writing & amazing story
thank you for sharing this!
Gaby