WB Yeats is one of a new series of oil on linen portrait paintings of famous Irish writers I am working on – to help me develop a new, more expressionist style of portrait painting. William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet, dramatist, prose writer and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. The second piece in the series, this portrait tries to combine crisp posterised detail in the eye, nose and mouth areas with carefully placed but bold use of the palette knife and larger dabs of brushwork.
The reason I am trying to these expressionistic techniques in my portrait work is to try and express the creativity that these great writers were capable of. Not just an accurate representation of their likenesses. These writers were so much more than how they looked. In painting them, I feel obliged to try and convey that.
"Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, We are happy when we are growing." – WB Yeats