Colored pencil portraits
Jesse Lane, "Manifest," colored pencil, 30 x 20 in

The realist colored pencil portraits of Jesse Lane are meaningful, perhaps now more so than before.

“Manifest” (shown at top) is about the strength to overcome the barriers of human connection. The young man’s hand boldly reaches out, but his gaze lacks confidence. Still, he looks out of the darkness, hoping to come into the light with the viewer.

Colored pencil portraits
Jesse Lane, “Labyrinth,” colored pencil, 29 x 23 in

Recovery from emotional pain is the theme of “Labyrinth.” The man’s hands hold his head as he tries to regain a sense of self. Water flows down his face, suggesting healing. His eyes are shut as he is alone, not ready to face the world he lives in and find his place in it.

Colored pencil portraits
Jesse Lane, “Witness,” colored pencil, 30 x 20 in

“When I started my new piece, ‘Witness,’ in 2019, I wanted to show the vulnerability of humanity,” Lane said. “Now … it says much more.

“’Witness’ speaks to the current situation of the country and the world. We see the vulnerable gaze of a man peeking out from his shied… almost like a turtle peaking out of its shell, wondering if it’s safe to come out.

“It’s my hope that we can move into a time when skin color doesn’t create barriers for human connection and we can all connect on an internal level.”

Related Article > Abyss: Colored Pencil Art by Jesse Lane

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