Walking Female

 56 X 44 Inches  Oil On Canvas Over Sculpted Foam

56 X 44 Inches

Oil On Canvas Over Sculpted Foam

 

 

The idea here was to paint the figure as if the viewers line of site was at the level of the figures naval, straight on. Normally we look at a figure directly in the eye. To view the torso and limbs one looks down. To eliminate the feet and head was unexpectantly exhilarating. So many difficult details, the net advantage of inclusion?…. nonessential. It is tempting to discuss this painting strictly on the basis of color.It would not be unusual for me to paint the background first as was done here. All of my paintings begin as abstraction. The figure is introduced later via, hallucination, accident or preconceived intent .The delicacy of pastoral blue and zinc yellow background would create inevitable difficulties with the foreground figure color. Alchemy and thinking in reverse, were useful in determining colors which did not alienate the background of WALKING FEMALE .Cutting up the canvas, three-dimensional-izing the pieces, resembling all of the pieces askew, introduces a whole new set of surfaces, which turn out to be very useful when backed into a color problem .The new surfaces provide a location for subordinate colors which allow not quite complements to cooperate .A group of colors can be as so many dominos you alter one, and you know what happens.An artist may have a emotional steak in a given color I’m very fond of the blue/yellow background,the edges which are turned outward give sensation of scratching the retinal nerve, when discussing paintings where theres pain theres pleasure.

Autumn Dance

 Oil on Canvas Over Sculpted Foam  60 x 72 Inches

Oil on Canvas Over Sculpted Foam

60 x 72 Inches

This painting can be discussed as a work of abstract form or…as a figure moving through space. Something an artists understand experientially, what can be referred to as the background color evolved from an initial color choice which would allow the texture of the under painting to to be visible through the surface layer. The first step in this painting was a consideration of the last step.

Bed of Stone

 60x84 Inches

60x84 Inches

A very difficult painting. Self-portraitive {for lack of the model} subsequently self identification set in.loneliness passion, yearning, loss ,memory. The female muse on one side either a specter or a object of memory. The reaching male figure on the other.{'you can't put your arms around a memory"} the mass and weight of the figure is anecdoted by the silliness of the jester cap, the internal spirit of the figure curves into the space above the head, following the lines of the carefree cap as if to continue it. The thrust of this painting rests on the bed itself.I sculpted these forms to reveal inner life force within the stones{since you cannot physically see inside the figure} suggested by the color, some cool, some hot. The discomfort of the rocks against the weight the figure relates to the overall emotion of the painting. The painting was three years of constant turmoil and work. The wild curvilinear burnt sienna lines dry brushed background was very first act in creating this painting .Ultimatly the lines are popped out as they pass thru the mid- section of the figure itself.

Running Figure With Mask

 Oil on Canvas over Sculpted Foam and Brushed Aluminum  56X46 Inches

Oil on Canvas over Sculpted Foam and Brushed Aluminum

56X46 Inches

The desire to explore or reveal something deeper of the life experience is a primal force of figurative art .Deconstruction of the painted figure in a plastic way, the illusion of taking it apart ,exploding it and illustrating that process is apparent in Picassos many Cubists masterpieces(more decoratively in those by Braque,Leger and Gris)Francis Bacon and Wilhelm de Kooning achieved equally brilliant results not long after, if not more aggressively. Notably in the de Kooning 'Woman'series. The desire to take it apart turn it inside out, allows the substitution of paint for the internal body substances.An outrageously captivating experience .My paintings of the late 1990s and beyond are animated by the same instincts as my heroic predecessors. The difference , after I draw it and paint I physically cut up ,I do not illustrate. I do physically deconstruct the painting.after it is sketched and painted I take a razor and reduce it to 70 or 80 small pieces. Thus begins the process of reconstruction. The pieces are adhered to varying thicknesses of non-biodegradable construction grade foam. A process of overlapping and interposing painting ,carving, , and eventually reassembling of those pieces begins. In" running figure" the primal urge spread from the deconstruction of the limbs and torso to the construction of a mask and then into totemic background. Whenever a mask developes things African begin to happen naturally . The broad cross etchings were extensively practiced in my youth. Possibly ingested during a period of obsession with Vincent van Gogh, age 14. I was a student of the Art Institute of Chicago. Constantly roaming endless impressionistic galleries of the museum. The white line on dark background is achieved not by brush application. Deepened strokes are scribed in into wet polymer/mixed with marble stone dust. Dark umber is applied after it dries. When that surface dries lightly sanding the r idges produces white lines. Which contribute to the African-totemic quality. The incorporation of brushed aluminum and brushed copper is another departure from traditional European derived painting styles. Which I learned interspersed if not long after years of a assembla'ge, working with every conceivable found material. I've noticed that Jasper John's has made a considerable living from the cross hatchet style. Even referencing' crying Dutch women' a la the school of Dutch painting 1500+. I can honestly say that Jap bore no influence at all upon my progress. Although a generation apart I too was awed by Marcel Duchamp

Torso With Torch

 1999  Oil On Canvas Over Sculpted Foam  51 x 47 x 4 Inches

1999

Oil On Canvas Over Sculpted Foam

51 x 47 x 4 Inches

The brush and jester hat are props and references which make naked figures feel more comfortable in the picture plane. Not unlike the classic Greek sculptors {by that I mean very B.C.]the head-less,foot-less torso looks and feels just like the target. Unfortunately as Westerners we always make a final check on the facial expression when seeking to understand the emotion of an object [never absolutely trusting our read of body language] .Our subliminal interests are accommodated when we behold the torso. The shoulders, mid plexis, and abdomen deliver an idyllic , libidinal impact. The best paintings begin as pure abstraction Color being both science and art should be renamed magic. Chaos and freedom are negotiated via experience and knowledge by the colorist. Who is the colorist? Picasso was quoted as recognizing children above all. During half a lifetime I have used colors to achieve every conceivable end. Self-indulgent expressions , classic control, romanticism ,movement, texture, landscape, portrait abstraction, surrealism. The painting at hand was a recklessly indulgent exercise with shameless prejudice to colors on the excited frivolous, summertime, alto end of the color spectrum. To paint that way you have to feel that way. At least for one-hour, one day, one-minute. This is the therapy allowed by color, feelings and moods are given substantiation . The colorist would insist that this is enough! !In my painting its only the beginning .The philosopher, the curious madman ,the inventor , the humanist, the lone wolf inevitably step in and takes over.