Painter Kevin Noonan’s interest in art began in childhood. "My grandfather is a gifted folk-art painter, so I grew up around painting," says the Connecticut native, who has a degree in Buddhist Studies from Antioch College in Ohio. "I got the chance to study in India and Burma, where I did meditation, but when I was there I also studied Buddhist iconography and modern Burmese painting. I even visited the state art school in Rangoon and talked to artists there."
Noonan, who is largely self-taught as an artist, paints in a studio in an artists’ collective in Southeast Portland. He works in both oils and in encaustics, a process in which he mixes pigments with wax and resin, and applies the materials to his canvases with heat. "I really like painting with hot wax; it gives a painting a different texture than one that I’ve done just using oils," he says. "And I like having more than one technique."
Many of Noonan’s paintings, both landscapes and portraits, are large-format paintings. These two portraits (pictured) are based on Faye Dunaway and John Steinbeck. He painted Dunaway in encaustics; he used oils for the painting of Steinbeck. "When I do portraits, I like to do them in a way that’s imaginative, but also referential," he says. "I want someone to look at the painting and see that it’s an interpretation, yet also recognize the source." Noonan’s paintings start at $250. John Steinbeck is 28 inches by 34 inches; Faye Dunaway measures 32 inches by 34 inches.