Portrait of General Ulysses S. Grant, 20 x 16, 2010
My interest in history has drawn me to do a considerable number of historical portraits, although mostly I've concentrated on women. I've only scratched the surface with masculine portraits, but here are two I completed in last few years. I painted Custer as he was post-Civil War, but well before the Little Big Horn by which time he had cut his famous long blondish hair. I wanted a bit of a raw-boned look that characterized frontiersmen and soldiers who had to endure hardships, inclement weather, and bad food. This image was featured as a full-page illustration in the February, 2011 issue of Civil War Times magazine. The general Grant portrait is a little more traditional, less folk arty. I have a fondness for the man: he is the quintessential Midwestern American. I live on Grant Avenue, my grandfather's uncle, a sergeant in the famous Galena regiment, soldiered with him, my politician great-grandfather campaigned for him when he ran for President, and he's a distant relative.
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