Ordinary Saints

Firefly
Firefly: Mary Herman
2014, oil and alkyd on canvas;
48″ x 36″
After many years of working with the human figure in an implicit narrative context, I decided to try to paint particular persons (instead of “types” or generalized figures that are subservient to the narrative). The traditional posed portrait was not what I was after, rather I wanted to make an image that seemed to mediate the “real presence” of the person (as opposed to an idealized or flattering portrayal). When I completed the painting of my father, I suddenly remembered my childhood desire as a young artist: to make a painting of a person that “felt” like them even more than simply reproducing a likeness. I’ve included a couple formal portrait commissions I’ve done for comparison. The requirements of formal institutional portraiture were a challenge but I believe that I managed, in spite of these constraints, to communicate something of the person there as well.
Ben
Ben
2014, oil and alkyd with silver leaf on wood;
30″ x 30″
Cam
Cameron Anderson
2014, oil and alkyd with gold leaf on wood;
30″ x 30″
Freya

Freya ©Bruce Herman, 2016. Oil on board with gold and silver leaf

30″ x 30″ 

Jac

Jac

©Bruce Herman, 2016. Oil on board with gold leaf

30″ x 30″

Jeremy

Jeremy Begbie

©Bruce Herman, 2017

oil on board with silver leaf; 30″ x 30″

Kenny

Kenny – collection of Walter and Darlene Hansen

©Bruce Herman, 2017

oil on board with silver leaf; 10″ x 16″

Malcolm

Malcolm Guite

©Bruce Herman, 2017

oil on board with gold leaf; 30″ x 30″

Meg

Meg

©Bruce Herman, 2017

oil on board with gold leaf; 30″ x 30″

Naomi

Naomi Gray
2014, oil and alkyd with silver and gold leaf on wood;
30″ x 30″

Osamu
Osamu Fujimura
2013, oil and alkyd with silver and gold leaf on wood;
30″ x 30″
Sarah
Sarah
2015, oil and alkyd on canvas;
46″ x 46″
Scott

Scott Cairns
2014, oil and alkyd with silver and gold leaf on wood;
30″ x 30″

Shared Motif Shaw family

The Shaw Family
2017, oil and alkyd with silver and gold leaf on wood;
60″ x 60″

collection of Bruce and Bonnie Shaw, Dallas Texas

Susie Chan

Golden Shadow Box (portrait of Susie Chan) commissioned by Kevin Chan

2018, oil and alkyd with silver and gold leaf on wood;
60″ x 60″

collection of Kevin and Ann Chan, Pasadena, CA

Walter

Walter Hansen
2014, oil and alkyd with silver leaf on wood; 30″ x 30″

collection of Walter and Darlene Hansen

Will (QU4RTETS No.1 (Spring);
oil and gold/silver leaf on wood;
97″ x 60″

Artist's Father

Portrait of the Artist’s Father: William C. Herman
2013, oil and alkyd on wood; 30″ x 48″

Artist's Mother

Portrait of the Artist’s Mother: Ruth Herman
2010, oil and alkyd with gold leaf on wood; 48″ x 20″

Portrait of the Artist
Portrait of the Artist: Bruce Herman
ca. 2011 oil and alkyd on canvas;
48″ x 36″