Abbreviated Portrait No. Five: PL NWMN
Poteet on Paul Newman: The extraordinary good looks and piercing blue eyesare the most outstanding features of Paul Newman. I don't believe this was necessarily important to Paul, but that is what the world sees, and I can't help but see him that way too. The painting had to capture the softness of the eyes, but it needed a masculine quality too, as he encompassed both.
The movie that made the most remarkable impression on me is 'The Hustler.' To me, it is a dark movie. You see the 'underside', the dark side of a mind set on gambling and the affect on the people in that world. I had never seen anything like it before. It was amazing to me that myself and others came away form the movie not having any affinity toward anyone but him...he was a master at creating a bond between the audience and his character. This ability was repeated throughout his career.
Poteet considers Paul Newman to be the best actor in the world. To Poteet Paul is "the golden boy." This impression remained intact during Newman's life and was not diminished during old age for Poteet who always saw him as
a strong male character. That is the enduring image for Poteet and he knew that the portrait had to be a strong statement.
The more brilliant blue circular pattern that comprises three-fourths of the canvas remind the viewer of the iris of an eye. The flesh toned square within the dark square subtly suggest the retina, or an abstract pool eight-ball. There are hints of racing stripes on the upper right of the
frame which allude to Newman's involvement with race cars and a reference to his relationship with Italy on the lower left edge of the canvas with Italy's flag colors of red and green.
Note of interest: This painting began as Paul Newman, then Poteet experimented by painting Robert Redford. Finally, Poteet returned to his initial intention to paint Paul Newman. He did many variations before settling on the final image.