Friday, May 31, 2013

Air Brush

"Doreen:White Skirt" acrylic on paper, 13" x 9"

Regardless of the subject matter, I keep trying to paint the same thing: the air between me and the image.

"Doreen: Ochre & Vermilion" acrylic on canvas, 10" x 8"

I don’t want to reduce the distance, I want to make it thicken, to increase the density from the object all the way to my eye---

"Doreen: Chair Pose" acrylic on paper. 13" x 9"

"Mark & Eduardo Paint The Lagoon" acrylic on paper, 13" x 9"

  wherever it resides.

"Doreen: Sun Hat" acrylic on paper, 13" x 9"

"Doreen: Purple Blouse" acrylic on paper,  13" x 9"

It isn’t only in my head, it’s also in my hands.

"Searching The Water"-oil on canvas, 36" x 48"

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


This painting began from a photograph in a mirror. The plant exists, but the room is just a collapsed hybrid of mental and physical space. The only atmosphere here is in the boiling black & red of the wall and the out-of-register light of the face.

In the first version, my goal was to bring each form out of the red background. The basic posture was taken from the photograph, but I did enjoy the dopey English Country Gentleman feeling in the clothes and inclination of the head.

Self Camera-1

By version 2, most of the basic furniture was in place. I did eventually eliminate the window  (an element I tend to overuse). The slanted floor-light, which seemed to call too much attention to itself, was also later replaced.

Self Camera-2

Version 5 was a linear fiesta. The clashing horizontals overpowered the composition and drew the eye away from the figure. The rough comic book rendition of the face did achieve a likeness, but one that felt drawn on the surface instead of formed from the head.

Self Camera-5

Even though I turned down the contrast in version 6, it was still too stiff and rectilinear. By this point, I knew that the rendering wasn’t working. It may have looked like me, but it didn’t feel like me.

Self Camera-6

Version 9 was the key to the final painting. Blurring the mirror image helped me get to a stronger visual equivalent. Clearing away the window centered the focus on the figure. It was a stripped-down composition, but one that was starting to work.

Self Camera-9

Any screen or lens can misrepresent, even the lens of self-image. But a painting like this, based on equal parts experience and invention, is not simply an isolated object. In fact, it’s closer to instrumental music. It’s another extension of continuous time.

"Self Camera"- oil on canvas, 40" x 40"