Playing with Portraiture (Part 1)

Playing with Portraiture (Part 1)
Native American (after Fechin) by Polly Castor

Native American (after Fechin) pastel by Polly Castor

I’ve been playing with portraiture, which is something I’ve rarely done. I’m enjoying the challenge of it, while still remaining non-literal about it.

Above is a painting I did in the style of a classic painting of an Native American wise elder (a man) done by the famous portrait artist Fechin. Using that work as a spring board, I painted it instead as a young girl, thinking of the Native American women now in places of power in the US congress. It seem clear to me that the future is not only female, but non-white and young.

Below, I abstracted different faces even more. I’m thinking these could be the beginning of a future series someday, which is why I called this post part one. I also may incorporate faces in some Bible story paintings I’m thinking about. I like the full range from impressionistic to abstract, and the trick with each image is where to place it on that spectrum. I’ll be exploring that conundrum further.

Which one do you like?



I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. John gregory 3 years ago

    Very moving….I love these❤️

  2. Anita 3 years ago

    Of the 4 grouped together, I like the 2nd and 4th ones best. All are good though!

  3. Kristie 3 years ago

    I love them all . . . But, I’m a girl who lights up when I see COLOR, so the colorful one, #4 speaks to me the most.

  4. Meg Hanson 3 years ago

    Those are all wonderful. I like the Native American young woman best.

  5. Kate Gibson Oswald 3 years ago

    The first one of the young girl is truly masterful and captures the girl in amazing moment. But the second one is a stunner for me. It is a delight to look at. You have captured complex emotions in this woman. The colours are quite simply a fantastic combo. She is both melancholy and precious. THIS is my favorite.

    • Author
      Polly Castor 3 years ago

      so glad to hear!

  6. Kate Gibson Oswald 3 years ago

    I might add that the 5th one of the man with the light in his eyes is wonderful too. Feels ALIVE

    • Author
      Polly Castor 3 years ago

      Thank you.

  7. Dilys 3 years ago

    I love them all, but my favourite is the Native American, she is so beautiful! Well done, Polly. X

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