The portrait of his lovely wife, Gina Torres, was commissioned by Laurence Fishburne earlier this year. It was supposed to be presented to her on their anniversary (Sept. 22), but alas, they are both successful actors and as such have overlapping schedules. He finally presented it to her yesterday and thank goodness, she loved it. Whew! Portraits are difficult business. The margin for error is great and a high profile commission like this keeps the artist on pins and needles until you get the thumbs up from commissioner and recipient. I'm not well known as a portrait artist but I do enjoy the challenge.
“Sometimes, stretched at ease in the shade of a roadside tree, we watch the motions of a laborer in a distant field, and after a time, begin to wonder languidly as to what the fellow may be at. We watch the movements of his body, the waving of his arms, we see him bend down, stand up, hesitate, begin again. It may add to the charm of an idle hour to be told the purpose of his exertions. If we know he is trying to lift a stone, to dig a ditch, to uproot a stump, we look with a more real interest at his efforts; we are disposed to condone the jar of his agitation upon the restfulness of the landscape; and even, if in a brotherly frame of mind, we may bring ourselves to forgive his failure. We understood his object, and, after all, the fellow has tried, and perhaps he had not the strength, and perhaps he had not the knowledge. We forgive, go on our way, and forget.
And so it is with the workman of art."
-Joseph Conrad, preface to "The Nigger of the Narcissus"