layers

UNCERTAIN

I've realized that the journey of a painting is important and every bit meaningful for the solution. Over the past two days, I've labored over this self-portrait (which actually was layered on top of last week's painting.) It is a paper with a lot of history.. And, what I love, is that every mark, every cover up, every misstep had to happen in order to create this final product. Layers and various viscosities of paint continually praise or disregard the work underneath. I have never painted without struggle. This painting was no exception. And within the struggle, uncertainty thrives. What I'm most proud of with this painting, is that I have found a maturity in my stopping point. Not an end with absolute realism, but an end with absolute meaning to me.  This work reached a pinnacle of energy with me and great change happened quickly. It "blew up" visually and symbolically. The background seeped into the subject and the eyes were removed. In the moment these changes were design choices, but they establish a lasting meaning. A meaning arrived upon organically. The visualization of "uncertainty." An idea mirrored in the process itself.

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As you'll see, this painting has been through many stare-downs and adjustments. I typically take a snapshot in the studio, walk away, view it small on my phone, make a mental to-do list, and then revisit the studio. Looking with fresh eyes is a sweet sweet thing.

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THE PROCESS STARTS GARISH

With flesh being my focus, I find it necessary to show the layers. To let the complexion be not just one color choice, but dozens instead. Veins, muscles, fats, tans, and freckles cause subtle hue and value changes all over the body. It's never always "flesh tint" from the tube. As I may exaggerate these subtleties, my process starts with vibrancy. As my paint thins with the layers, it allows an often glow to shine through. Which, to me is a lovely resolution. However, as one that prefers privacy in the studio, I find it hard when these unfinished pieces are seen without their epidermis complete. But for this instance, I think it's okay for you to see. Many of my pieces go through this transformation.

NEAR AND FAR

When I view artwork, I'm either 10 feet or 2 inches away. It's my favorite way to see art. I find myself doing a lot of walking in the studio. This is a detail of a 5 foot painting with a theme of autumn. I love that a close up of these colors and strokes non-objectively hint at the theme.