Blog / 2022 / Talking with Jay about His Portrait(s)

November 6, 2022

[video transcript]

To learn more about Jay and his amazing photography, check out his Lambertville.Life Instagram! Jay’s one portrait and the rest of Friend Request are on display in Winifred Weiss’ studio window through the end of the month.

Winifred’s studio window
17 Church Street
(at the intersection with George)
Lambertville, NJ 08530

Open: now through November 30th
Hours: whenever (you can look in from the street)

two paintings of the same man by Gwenn Seemel
Gwenn Seemel
Jay and Jay (Again)
acrylic on paper
7 x 10 inches (combined)

Here’s the thing about portrait painting: it’s not an exact science. I mean, obviously. But it’s more than just the fact that I’m painting the space between me and my subject instead of painting the subject alone that makes it inexact. There’s also the fact that that subject—as well as the space between me and them—is always changing.

I never feel like one portrait of anyone is enough to show everything I want to show about them, and sometimes I end up painting more than one portrait of the same person, just so I can figure out what I want to show of them.

That’s what happened with Jay. I worked on this painting of him at the same time as I also worked on another, and it was that other one that I ended up including in Friend Request.

Gwenn: So, so today, Jay is gonna meet, not, well he’s already met him -

Jay: Time out. Start over.

Gwenn: I feel like you’re - okay! Jay.

Jay: Gwenn.

Gwenn: This portrait.

Jay: Love it.

Gwenn: Official...official portrait.

Jay: Love it.

Gwenn: But then there’s this portrait too.

Jay: The alternate.

Gwenn: It’s not signed, but it is an official “truly, I made it” portrait.

Jay: Yes.

Gwenn: You have not seen this yet.

Jay: I have not.

Gwenn: It’s a totally different photo that I worked from.

Jay: I have not seen anything of it.

Gwenn: So the face that he makes is -

Jay: Is the reality.

Gwenn: - gonna be the face of seeing the portrait for the first time.

Jay: Let’s hope I like it.

Jay: Oh!

Gwenn: How do you feel comparing the two?

Jay: They’re so different. Wow!

Jay: I like this one more.

Gwenn: Oh!

Jay: Let’s talk about this one first, before we talk about this one. I had a lot of emotions when I saw that. At first I hated it, but not the art. The art is amazing. As all of these are.

Jay: It’s hard for me to explain because I’m not trying to be negative. What you painted was your perception of me. But the more people spoke to me about the painting, the more I came to appreciate the painting. And now I’ve had a change of heart and I love it. Because if this is how you see me, that’s a good way. Because if I look at that painting and I look at it not as me, just as a person in the painting, I see a happy guy.

Jay: This is the jovial me, which most people know me for. So I love both of them.

Jay: I think for the show, the one that you chose is the right one. I think this also captures me very well. The side eye...and me smiling.

This video is made with love and microdonations from my community!

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