A single brushstroke, errant or not– is an idea telling you which way to go.
If you’re bold enough to choose a color, to paint that first stroke and risk screwing it all up…then you my friend, are an artist.
From the first flick of the power switch, I was drawn in by the bright light projection and steady, comforting hum. I knew I had to do something with this, and discover a new artistic side of myself.
I was exploring the practice of photography at that time, so it seemed a great use to adapt my digital photos by converting them to slides. I picked a handful of high contrast photos, and sent them off to have them converted. Once I had them I began exploring the process of projecting the images onto a gesso covered wood surface. Using black gel pen, I started out sketching the lines and forms that appeared. Through a learning process, I discovered that turning the projector off after a while allowed me to dig in and finish, making the piece my own.
So I drew him over and over, just for practice and unknowingly on the way to this, my first painted portrait.
I was actually more inspired by the colors they produced, as each session revealed a truth to the colors I had been seeking: earthy, woody, pale, muted– they freed me from what I knew of paint mixing (very little up until then), and led me down the right path, one logical step at a time.
The subject is actually based on a photograph of my wife, taken on a stroll through Strausborg one summer evening. Breathtaking city, small and quaint, reminiscent of the gods of impressionism and the late 1890's and the great painters at the turn of the century.
I was saddened when I learned of the death of Anthony Bourdain, and more so when I discovered the event had taken place in this dear city. Simple yet ornate in its presentation, and full of history and conflict and depth altogether. A fitting place for a great soul's final rest.
So I drew him over and over, just for practice.
April 26, 2017