I don't paint portraits as much as portray characters.
Whether human or canine, each painting is not a gathering of features assembled on a head, but the expression of a story unfolding. Sometimes comical, sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes ambiguous, my hope is that you cock your head, scrunch your nose, and think 'Wait- what expression is that, even?' or 'Hey, what was going on here?' or just 'Aha! I know that exact personality trait well!'
It's not so much that I'm fascinated by the portrayal of expressions and their stories, but that the process of using small brushes to push oils around on big canvases always evokes some essence behind the features to come through, and I don't always know what it will be. It's the magic of that slow, unraveling revelation that has me transfixed in this endeavor of painting faces. There is no other motive, really; just dogs being dogs and people being people, each creating their stories.
Sometimes, we're not so different.