If you can’t paint, don’t try selling us your paintings. I get impatient with the profound smudge, the swashbuckle of off-the-shelf colors, the — oh, this is the worst — the emotionful portrait in which the face has met a calamity while the hair, the shoulders remain intelligible. Either the features — note: we call them features — have been scraped or blurred or blotted, or the sitter has just met with an unfortunate airplane propeller.
Rembrandt’s great portraits? How about he twists his biggest brush into wet paint over the eyes nose and mouth? Ah, but Rembrandt could paint. So why would he?
Here are examples of blotchy brushwork. As in Rembrandt’s late portraits you don’t miss the emotional humanity on display. For me this ability to capture elusive nuances of expression is among art’s highest achievements. Whereas the Mona Lisa’s fun but she leaves me cold.