Aura IV

50 x 40 Inches    2016    Acrylic, Resin and Oil on Canvas

50 x 40 Inches


Acrylic, Resin and Oil on Canvas

An aura is scientifically explained as an electrical field surrounding a body, different pale hues implying, variation in strength.. Frankly I have been occasionally observing them since my youth, so too have others. I have come to believe that the particular hue implies more than electrical strength, rather the age of the soul. While running the reservoir in Central Park, May ‘16, I started imagining a new figure…suspended, a body not hindered by gravity, potentially a fitting way to express spiritual freedom, a vivid spirit moving inside also. What I saw in my minds eye was a tangle of flesh suspended in space, the origin of the paintings “Aura III, IV” occurred there and then, on the running track. Later that day I embarked on new sketches, contemplating a degree of logic in setting (background) to balance the impossible poses. That balance of irrational subject and logical setting, seduces the viewer in ways that are difficult for one to resist.

On sheets of white paper I started sketching designs of women as if on a trapeze, always considering the resulting spaces between their contorted limbs, spine, torso head, hands and feet. Maximizing the negative resulting shapes between give an apparently realistic image abstract strength. Through the negative space, one can also glimpse the background too, essential to the story.. I made many sketches approx.’ 30 attempts, abut 10-12 were plausible candidates to paint on canvas. The drawing stage lasted 10 days. In bringing a raw idea to life, I would need to add femininity to the imagined poses. The danger when contorting and twisting a female figure, the result may be more monsters, than beauty. I am dedicated to avoiding this. I seek to represent “woman” at her idealized best, considering the poise of ballet and grace of sport; supple lines, pointed toes and self-aware.

The two backgrounds; circus tent interior and the Pantheon of Rome are completely freehand. Photographs were not transferred, rather I glanced at photos of the Pantheon for architectural accuracy and closed the book. I firmly believe in the fallibility of the human hand and imagination. Constant contemplation and lengthy adjustments of perspective and scale ensued. The backgrounds are not painted in oil, rather with extremely matt, flat finish tempera (Flash).

Finally the time arrived when the detailed figures assume their pose, when the background is complete. The final stage of rendering the aerialist, and then brushing in the ribbons of color aura electrical fields follows. Several more days of adjustment and re-coloring took place. The last step is encasing the Spirit or Soul, after months of work (Pantheon), the final hair-raising work session and lasted two days. The encasement is exactly that. Although not discernable in digital image, the figure has a ¼ inch of liquid resin on top of it(hi-gloss). The pour of resin is a very dicey technique and all can be lost. But if successful, defines the black and colored aura area inhabited on painting surface by flesh, as clear protoplasm. Visually it is super-shiny-brilliant, contrasting the extreme matt background interior. The result is an invention of mine; I have never seen it done before.