Palden Gyatso meets Chuck Close

If you are unfamiliar with Palden Gyatso he is a Tibetan monk imprisoned and tortured for 33 years by the Chinese government. I highly recommend “Fire in the Snow”, a documentary on Palden. His story is heartbreaking and inspiring all wrapped together.

Chuck Close is an American artist famous for his portrait painting. His style is to grid a photo and then paint each individual square which, when viewed from afar, makes the painting appear as one image.

While working with my art class I decided to introduce them to Close’s style and we took on a project of placing a grid over a photo and then painting each grid onto a larger piece of paper. I decided to join in the fun and to also take the opportunity to introduce my students to the amazing story of Palden.

It took three months to complete this painting, which gave me an even deeper respect for Close’s style and process.






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5 Responses to “Palden Gyatso meets Chuck Close”

  1. klaas Says:

    Holly…..t you are one talented…………….
    how big is the real deal ….
    you are amazing!!
    I love the feel of the portrait,contemplative and peacefull,but not with out effort.
    thanks for sharing your talents

  2. haroldfeddersen Says:

    Thanks Klaas. I’m happy it turned out as I was working on it upside down for 2.5 months and didn’t even know what it was looking like.

  3. Noreen Says:

    So, you didn’t tell us how big it is Harold.

    I’m patiently waiting to see the real deal. I didn’t know you did it upside down. What a great idea.

    This is a technique I plan to experiment with.

  4. haroldfeddersen Says:

    I realised the other day that I didn’t mention the size so thanks for keeping me to the answer Noreen. I believe it’s around 24″X24″?
    The technique of doing it upside down is to battle the mind. We often believe we know what an eye, for example, looks like. So instead of drawing/painting what we see, we end up drawing/painting what we think an eye looks like. Drawing/painting upside down is a support to see what is. I’m going to battle this very thing in my next series of drawings. I’m going to practice seeing what is and use measuring tools to test my ability to remove my own filter of what I think is there in relation to what really is there.

  5. Portrait painting of Ramana Maharishi « harold feddersen Says:

    […] never considered myself a person who can paint people, but the responses I got from my painting of Palden Gyatso had me rethinking how I see myself in that regard. I’ve since taken on portrait painting and […]

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