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Norman Perryman's portraits are in great demand, particularly in England and the United States. His 'action-portraits' of many of the great musicians of our time have won international acclaim, especially after the 1993 BBC Television documentary on Perryman's work 'Concerto for Paintbrush and Orchestra'.
They include Cecilia Bartoli, Alfred Brendel, José Carreras, Placido Domingo, Valery Gergiev, Yo-Yo Ma, Kurt Masur, Yehudi Menuhin, Jessye Norman, Luciano Pavarotti, Sir Simon Rattle and Georg Solti. Perryman has exhibited widely for more than thirty years, and his work can be found in private collections in many parts of the world.

Perryman's watercolour portraits radiate energy, liveliness and tremendous individual charisma. His aim is to bring out the best in his subjects, and he has an uncanny sensitivity that enables him to do this successfully. He relates well to people, so that they find that they enjoy sharing this esthetic experience of self affirmation.

His photographs for reference ensure that the proportions and likeness are totally accurate. Many of his portraits include free-style, colourful, dynamic backgrounds, which may be seen as abstract reflections of the personality of the subject.

 

 
 

Perryman's portraits are usually life-size, head and shoulders, or down to the hands. For adults the size, without mat, is therefore about 25"x18" (63x46cm), and for a small child about 21"x16" (53x40cm). His acclaimed portraits of musical and dance celebrities are larger - often full figure, with instrument or baton - and approximately 33"x25" (84x63cm).

He uses only the best, totally permanent materials: Winsor and Newton watercolour. Arches acid-free, hot-pressed (the smoothest) 300 grams paper. The painting, protected from pollution by glass and sealed in the frame, is then as permanent as an oil painting, and should enjoy the same status.

Norman Perryman usually travels to his subjects. He needs only one major sitting of approximately three hours, including breaks, in which he chats with the subject, enables them to feel relaxed, makes several pencil sketches, and shoots about fifty photographs (slides). He prefers to use available (natural) light. Special wishes concerning dress, hair, pose, etc., can be discussed in advance by phone.

Back in the studio, the slides are then projected life-size, and the painting is usually completed within three weeks (depending on the waiting-list). Perryman usually likes to have a final brief session with the subject for finishing touches, to present the finished painting and to explain its qualities personally. Clients really appreciate this glimpse into the creative process, and a discussion of the artist's insights into their personality.

         


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