“One night, several years ago, I dreamt I was at an art convention. Thousands of artists gathered in an enormous expo center. On the main stage, each artist spoke for a few minutes about their work and their process. I waited for my turn backstage while an old Chinese man took the stage. Instead of talking about his work, he sang a beautiful song, and danced in a slow circle. The words he sang have stayed with me ever since. “Everything with purpose. Everything with love.”
Now my definition of art is “anything done with purpose and love.” And this is why I am a portrait artist. I love making paintings for people. I love making paintings of loved ones, pets or people, paintings commissioned out of love and painted with love. Portraiture fills my work with purpose and love to a depth it never had when I paint solely for myself. The focus has moved away from wondering what I should paint, or what I should say, to how well I can express this portrait for this person who loves them so much. I really love it.”
Jeremy Dubow began studying art as a child in Manhattan on the nights when his mother couldn’t find a babysitter and had to take him to her evening painting classes. He spent most of his childhood copying comic books, and his adolescence pursuing illustration at LaGuardia High School for music and art. After graduation he moved to Los Angeles and soon found himself working in animation.
In his early twenties he began to cultivate a relationship with the present, and this awakening sparked a creative shift from imaginative work to working from life. During this shift, he wrote and illustrated Margaret, a children’s picture book about living in the moment, and at the same time developed a love for figure drawing at San Francisco City College.
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