Pair of Portraits

Self-Portrait of the artist
David Paladin - Bull Wrider - 1981 Acrylic painting

The Artist and the Bull Wrider

Bull Wrider is a companion piece to Self-Portrait.  The figure of the bull becomes a writing table for the writer, hence Bull Wrider (writer).  Or, bull riding?  I learned to fly an airplane and drive a motorcycle but I never wanted to take up bull riding. 

Although I never confronted David about who this figure was and what he meant with “wrider” it was obvious to me that this is as close as he ever came to painting my portrait.  It made sense to me simply because I took notes when we mused together over interesting topics. 

David’s problem with creating portraits of others was that something unfortunate always seemed to happen to his subjects, hence his silence to me about it.  And, it's a small painting, not likely to net much with an art sale.

I find some interesting contrasts between the two images.  The source for illumination for the artist is direct while the wrider’s is shaded, indirect.  There is a fish in both images.  What’s that mean?  There’s more to muse upon in the artist’s portrait.  What’s a white apple mean?  I’m always hopeful that some psychological analyst will tell me what it all symbolizes!

After David died I decided that the painting gave me permission to write “bull-oney” (baloney) when I was uncertain about "The Truth" of some issue about him.  It seemed to me that the painting signified that it wouldn’t bother him if I created yet another myth about him!  However, intentionally writing bull-oney about David is not  my nature.