Un portrait de famille qui n’est pas idéal

Rachel Rubin Wolf has a slight bias when it comes to art, and she’s not afraid to admit it. As the editor of the Strokes of Genius series, she sees numerous paintings and drawings, and must narrow them down to the best of the best. But when she was selecting art for Strokes of Genius 6, she says that she found herself making a special list of the most striking works by portrait artists, the results of which are now featured in Art Journey Portraits and Figures.

This somber charcoal portrait drawing below by Edgar Jerins is one of 100 artworks that made the cut. I immediately felt drawn into it, and after reading the story of the individuals that Jerins has portrayed, I understand why it feels so personal. These aren’t just random subjects; they’re family, and you can sense the narrative that’s being told.

Portrait artist Edgar Jerins, charcoal drawing

Daina and Doyle at Home with Anita’s Children (charcoal on paper, 60×96) by portrait artist Edgar Jerins, who works from a combination of photo references and life. He says “There is no substitute for working from life.”

“In spring 2013 I returned to Lindsburg, Kansas, to continue the narrative of my first cousins, the Cepure family,” says Jerins. “The drawing is of my cousins David, Anita and Daina. Daina is married to Doyle, and their union is childless; Anita is divorced from her husband, but has three children–Barry, Sarah and Brittany–who have all been taken in by Daina and Doyle following unsuccessful placement and abuse in foster homes. Anita and her brother David are visiting Daina and Doyle’s home, bathed in the drama of Anita’s attempts to woo her children back. Anita and David, despite early talent and promise, have become victims of depression and substance abuse. The emotional loyalties and relationships change daily, if not hourly, with potential breakdowns and explosions held at bay by Daina and Doyle providing practicalities.”

Jerins goes on to express something that’s important, in my humble opinion, because it sums up how art connects us despite our differences: “My hope is that if someone facing a crisis saw one of my drawings that they felt less alone in their pain.” (tweet this)

I thank this portrait artist, and the 99 others featured in Art Journey Portraits and Figures (get your copy here) for sharing their art, their stories and their techniques in this moving collection.

Yours in art,

Cherie Haas, online editor

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