Thursday, January 26, 2012

Civil War Generals

Portrait of General George Armstrong Custer, 24 x 18, 2009

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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