In these portraits, I like finding and using abstract marks that indicate and reinforce, with honesty, how these pictures have been made, using smudges or fingermarks, splats and drips, showing underdrawing and structural 'working-out' lines, that remind us how these architectures of heads and faces are created; the stages of bringing them into being as paintings or drawings.
For me, it's more exciting than making just another realistic or photographic, polished portrait.
Why the hats? I'm always intrigued by the architectural structures of the shapes in Holbein's portraits, especially the architecture of the hats people are wearing. The hats transform the heads of his sitters.
I sense a stillness in the air of his pictures which is captivating and gives an unsettling edginess, a strange disquietude; those paintings were made in very unsettled, disruptive times.
In some of these portraits below, I've tried to use a wrapped towel or a bicycle helmet to change the 'architecture' of the heads.