I find people to be endlessly fascinating. We humans seem to be genetically programmed to stare into the faces of others and try to find something about ourselves there.
Painting a portrait touches people intimately. When a portrait is successful it is as if the living, breathing person, with all of the quirks of their personality, is on the canvas. When a person first views his or her own image in a painting there is recognition, amazement. pride, and often there are tears.
The subject of one portrait was speechless when her portrait was unveiled. When she was finally able to speak, without taking her eyes from the painting, she said quietly, "I didn't think anyone knew me that well."
It happens with each portrait...that magical moment when the soul is breathed into the canvas...and it always startles.