The only portrait I've never been able to paint was my own...not sure why, perhaps it's because I haven't yet reached that "senior citizen" status I endowed on those earlier subjects...at least in my own mind.
I painted two subjects in which the brush fairly flew in my hand. Each stroke seemed to will itself upon the other. I had a clear vision of what I wished to portray; I saw the completed work before it was done. You see, I had a personal attachment to each subject. One was a friend who died unexpectedly this summer.
The other was Jonathan Peck (see my painting in "portraits"). son of the movie star Gregory Peck. I was a journalist in those days. I was news director and anchored the news in Santa Maria, Ca. at KCOY-TV, a station owned by Helen Pedoti, a longtime friend of the Peck family. She often had the three boys Jonathan, Stephen, and Carey to her ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley at summertime. In the mid-1970s I had an opening in our Santa Barbara territory and Helen asked if I would hire Jon to fill that slot. I knew she wouldn't have asked if she didn't believe Jon was qualified for the job (and afterall, she owned the company), so I agreed. Jon was a wonderful reporter; he had charisma, intellect, and a great desire to learn. We had a great year as friends and in our work. Sadly, Jon took his own life. In memory of that friendship, I painted his portrait and gave it to his brother Stephen. That painting was sadly lost in a house fire some years later. I still have a photo though, here in my portrait gallery.