On the Outside Looking In

Whenever I am in New York I always plan on a day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

On my list of "must see again and again" is this self portrait by George Romney. It fascinated and continues to fascinate me.


Romney's son, John, described this piece in 1830. In the winter of 1795 he painted a head of himself, which, though slight, and not entirely finished, being painted at once, shows uncommon power of execution; the likeness alsois strong, but there is a certain expression of languor. . . .

Some paintings go beyond the sum of their parts. For me, this portrait is just such a piece. I feel like I am on the outside looking into his state of mind.

Patricia and I continue our art education with weekly lessons with Albert Slark. A gifted portrait artist and realist painter with a remarkable knowledge of traditional painting techniques. You can view his website here

Albert is one of the few Canadian artists to have his work exhibited at the Smithsonian - while still alive! Two of his paintings made it into the Smithsonian in Washington, DC where they have a show of original paintings that were used on US stamps. Click Here to view the US stamp artwork.

One day, Albert suggested that he do a portrait of me. I agreed, if he would do a charcoal sketch first - using Nitram of course. I thought this would help establish a pose that we could agree on before the actual painting stage. Here is that charcoal sketch with Albert Slark in his studio.  


When the portrait was finished I was gabberflasted! I looked at it - no... I stared at it and realized this was like that Romney portrait.


 Every time I look at it - I stare at the expression. I can almost tell what I am thinking. I have shown this portrait to many people and they all agree - it is a great portrait. It now hangs in our bedroom. Pat says that she now has two Jerzy's watching her as she sleeps ;-) Moral of the story - go get your portrait done and you too can be on the outside looking in ;-) ~Jerzy Niedojadlo

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