When painting or drawing portraits in oil, mixed media or watercolor, the likeness is obviously an important aspect, but the expression is actually even more important to me. The portrait has to live, it has to touch you somewhere in the soul. I love that there is something to guess in a portrait (what is he/she thinking about, what is going on inside him/her) and will always try to capture some of that mystery. It is a great compliment to me as an artist if my intention comes across and is felt in the process.
Perhaps the finest compliment I ever received was from David Bowie's guitarist and musical director, Carlos Alomar when he remarked, "A portrait is a mirror to the soul. It is a thing of wonder. It captures and locks you in time. I am so humbled, honored and awesomely impressed with the excellence of Arjan's presentation. He has captured an essence that is pure me. It is also obvious that all of his other Alumni portraits were handled with equal esteem. Thank you Arjan and Mike for your efforts. I will cherish this portrait always."