Portraits Of Passion

Spread the love

Portrait painting is something I learnt not too long ago. Just like everything else in my life, an interest, a burning desire to learn, then I would decide, I want to do it and apply myself until I am  happy with the result and then it is time to move on to something else. That “something else” turned out to be fruit and vegetable carving!

It was year 2003 for some unknown reason, I was flipping through my collection of National Geographic magazines, when I saw  photo of the “Afghan girl” on the cover! Her eyes were so captivating, I just couldnt put down the magazine. I sat down and didn’t know what to do. I was lost in my own thoughts. It was then that I decided to do a painting of her.

I drove to the local library and brought home few books on paitning. Finally decided Acrylic is a better medium than oil and went and got myself all the necessary tools.

Here I present to you my attempt at portrait painting. All have been done with Acrylic on canvas. I sincerely hope, you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed painting them…..


Names have power, so let us speak of hers. Her name is Sharbat Gula, and she  is Pashtun, that most warlike of Afghan tribes. It is said of the Pashtun  that they are only at peace when they are at war, and her eyes-then and  now-burn with ferocity. She is 28, perhaps 29, or even 30. No one, not even  she, knows for sure. Stories shift like sand in a place where no records exist. Time and hardship have erased her youth. Her skin looks like leather.  The geometry of her jaw has softened. The eyes still glare; that has not softened.

“She’s had a hard life,” said McCurry. “So many here share her story.”  Consider the numbers. Twenty-three years of war, 1.5 million killed, 3.5  million refugees: This is the story of Afghanistan in the past quarter century.

Now, consider this photograph of a young girl with sea green eyes. Her eyes  challenge ours. Most of all, they disturb. We cannot turn away…….

Source: ‘A Life Revealed’ – National Geographic


Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dali i Domenech was born at 8:45 on the morning of  May 11, 1904, in the small agricultural town of Figueres, Spain, in the  foothills of the Pyrenees, only sixteen miles from the French border in the  principality of Catalonia. The son of a prosperous notary, he spent his  boyhood in Figueres and at the family’s summer home in the coastal fishing  village of Cadaques where his parents built his first studio. As an adult, he made his home with his wife Gala in nearby Port Lligat.

The young Dali attended the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid. Early recognition of Dali’s talent came with his first one-man show, held in Barcelona in 1925. He became internationally known when three of his paintings, including the Basket of Bread (in the Salvador Dali Online Exhibit) were shown in the third annual Carnegie International Exhibition in
Pittsburgh in 1928.



Poet, philosopher, artist, prophet and writer, Kahlil Gibran was born in Bsharri, Lebanon in 1883.  He died in 1931 leaving an amazing legacy in the form of his writings and drawings  which have soothed and inspired millions. To many he is a genius whose philosophical and prophetic style convey important messages about life and humanity in a simple, yet beautifully eloquent manner, that are as fresh and meaningful in today’s world as when they were first written.



Velazquez painted this extremely fine portrait of his trusted assistant, the mulatto Juan de Pareja, in 1650, while he was in Rome acquiring works of art on the behalf of the Spanish King. It has been suggested that it was done as a sort of trial run for the more imposing and official Portrait of Pope Innocent X. We know for a fact that it was put on display at the annual exhibition at the Pantheon, and that it excited universal admiration: one connoisseur is alleged to have exclaimed, “Everything alse may be art, but this is Truth.”

Though in this late portrait Velazquez still uses the strong illumination and light background typical of Caravaggio, his palette is limited to a dazzling sequence of grays and warm flesh tones. The composition is equally restrained. The imposing and proud figure is placed diagonally with the head almost frontal. The right arm crosses the torso to provide a firm base in a fashion reminiscent of some Raphael’s most famous portraits. This scene is enlivened by marvelously deft brush strokes.


I met this gentleman when I was visiting the Caribbean Island of Cariaccou in year 2001. He had a small shop that sold day to day items. I saw him sitting all by himself with a smile that never left.

I stopped to talk to him, he was 84 yrs old. Since that visit I met him twice more and during my last visit in 2004, I was told by his son that he had passed away.  His smile and his very friendly nature haunts me to this day! May his soul rest
in peace!



Author: Dr. K.B. Mallya- Canada

Spread the love