A Limestone painter is selling a pretty big portrait of Maine’s 74th governor for a steal at $25,500.
“It’s well worth it in investment value alone,” writes Don Robertson in his Craigslist ad for the painting. “The price of everything is going up. The price of fine art is too.”
The piece is acrylic, on canvas, and measures 30″x40″. It features the governor in what appears to be a dining room or restaurant, facing the viewer with one hand on the back of chair. The background includes children playing and a couple staring out as a sailboat navigates what appears to be low tide on the rocky Maine coast.
In the ad, the artist includes a pretty long statement about how and why he supported LePage in 2010 and will do so again in 2014. Robertson’s piece is currently on display at the Robert A. Frost Memorial Library in Limestone, according to the ad. You can read the whole thing by clicking the link above.
For reference, that price is just under the average cost of a U.S. wedding. That may seem high for a gubernatorial portrait, but the state will award a contract worth only $500 less than the asking price for Robertson’s piece when it chooses an artist to paint the official LePage portrait, according to the request for qualifications posted on the Maine Arts Commission website. Artists have until Jan. 4 to submit their bids, and the portrait is expected to be complete by September next year.
The official portrait will become part of the Maine State Museum State House Portrait Collection, which includes more than 150 portraits of important figures in Maine’s history. Many of the paintings are on display in the halls of the Capitol.
According to the request for qualifications posted on the commission’s website, the artwork should “demonstrate a realistic, traditional oil canvas portrait” and “be lifelike while capturing the essence and personality of the subject,” among other requirements. Robertson’s portrait would likely be disqualified for not being “body length.”
Robertson also has a Flickr account featuring the portrait and several other pieces in a similar style.
UPDATE: Don Robertson got a hold of me this morning. In an email, he acknowledged that not everyone would be a fan of his work, or its subject.
“The common online ridicule is benign, in my opinion,” he said. “There is no bad publicity, there is only publicity for either an artist or a politician. And the portrait? Well, this Governor’s portrait is quite obviously also intended to advertise Maine.”
Robertson also passed along his most recent work, a portrait of his mechanic. Check it out below: