Saturday, 31 January 2015

Portrait #7 'Afghan Man'

Afghan Man            John Simlett
Acrylic on Canvas
30 x 20 inches
(from a photograph by Shehzad Noorani)
I hadn't painted folded cloth or a beard before, and so I set about finding a suitable subject. Fortunately I came across a great photograph, but far more than that, a great photographer, Shehzad Noorani who spends a great deal of his time photographing and publicizing  the homeless.

You could be forgiven for believing that the 'Afghan Man' is a warrior, a leader of men for he has that look about him, but he is not. He is living in Maslakh refugee camp for Internally Displaced People, near the city of Herat in Afghanistan. 

I've tried to bring out the undefeated spirit of the man. He may have lost all his material assets but he is unbowed.




28 comments:

  1. Omgosh John!! I'm speechless! You did an outstanding portrait of this Afghan man... The folds on the material is amazing...I love the colors and pattern...his beard!! All wonderful!

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    1. Really glad you like it, Hilda. Than you

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  2. So where's the painting you did?? :) Wow..it's amazing John. I feel like he's staring right into my soul.

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    1. Hi Cris, hope you are on the mend after your ordeal. Thanks for taking the time to pop in.

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  3. Beautiful work, John!!! You have brought out that inner strength and resilience in his eyes and face.
    Kathryn

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    1. Thank you, Kathryn, that's very kind of you to say so; I so wanted to do that

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  4. FABULOUS work, John. You should feel proud.
    It is Powerful. He looks like a man I would not like to make cross! To find out he is living in a refugee camp explains how he is deservedly protective.
    Do you ever wonder, John, how come we were so lucky to have been born in a country which treats its citizens with respect?
    Not always the case...back in history when occupied by the Romans, I would have been a slave. Anyway I send my deep respect for the dignity this man has maintained.

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    1. Thanks very much, Julie. I think you've been a bit of a slave to the 30 day challenge ... but you're free now:0)

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  5. Here"s what I wrote in response to your comment on my post: You missed the rest of my post! I mistakenly hit publish before I was finished and grabbed it back immediately, but you were too fast for me!

    Talk about books piled up! That is exactly what I was talking about. Right now I'm fascinated with Holbein's contour and Van Gogh's early drawings with mixed media. Then there's the rest of Schmid and Carol Marine's Daily Painting, which I must say I may never finish. I am not a daily painter--though I paint daily. I'm not interested in uncluttered still life and Finish doesn't come in a day with classic realism. Weeks are more like it. --Then there's Samuel Adams. A Hollywood-type TV series got me to research the real man and his role in the Revolution. He was not the scallywag that everyone thinks. I imagine your General Thomas Gage wasn't the monster, this series would have use think either. Love your Afghanistan Man. colors are great--and your rendering of his beard is brilliant. You weren't too shabby with your rendering of fabric either. Great painting you talented guy! I do hope you stop by again to see Van Gogh's early work. It's the best.

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    1. I popped back and saw the VG in question - enlightening, mant thank.

      I gathered that you were into Samuel Adams from an earlier post, so no doubt you will be rubbing shoulders with Thomas Paine and his 'Rights of Man' because with the aid of Ben. Franklin he got away from Britain and over to the US in time for the American Revolution.


      Not many people realise that there was a second war with Britain after you got Independence

      Glad you liked the Afghan

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  6. An extraordinary power in this portrait that you have performed with mastery,dear John.
    Bravo!

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  7. Painted with great directness and intensity - you certainly succeeded in showing his strength of character.

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    1. I'm glad his character shows through.

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  8. This is outstanding John! Those eyes look so alive! I'm finally catching up on blogs now I have returned from my holiday. I will be back at my own easel this weekend. I can't wait! :0)

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    1. I bet you're all suntanned and making the neighbours envious :0)

      Welcome back, glad you liked the Afghan

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  9. For a first attempt at a beard you have done amazingly well. Great work!

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  10. Thanks Ona ... I may need one of your one-hair brushes :0)

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  11. Great work John and an amazing portrait of I feel an amazing man. You captured the determination in is eyes. He looks like a warrior. Well done John.

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    1. Thank you, Joan ... nice to see you relaxing into gauche ater you 30 day marathon

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  12. First folds and first beard? Yeh, right!! I think you've been secretly painting like this since you were at Art College, LOL.
    This is stunning work John. This is one proud man, and that comes through clearly from this portrait. Great work ..... again!!! ;-)

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    1. This really is painting 47 and a process of learning as I go.

      Thanks, John. Some of your recent graphite work has been breathtaking byw

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  13. Stunning, John. You've absolutely captured this man's strength, his will. Would that I could say the same. Feeling broken. At least today.

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