Before I head back to Wisconsin over the holiday break I tried to take advantage of my open schedule by starting two large paintings!
When I return in January I'll be ready to jump into these and start the second semester off running.
Here's one that is almost complete. The title is still in the works but it's a continuation on the Front and Center series. In this series I'm interested in the process of inventing portraits and figure paintings. I don't work from a direct reference of a certain person. Instead I try to work with intuition and build the paintings until the form reveals a unique representation of what could be a real person with a history and charged emotion.
This painting begin with a spontaneous and open ended idea. The pose and initial palette was inspired by a small 8" x 8" painting I completed earlier in the semester. Working on a much larger surface 30" x 30" with this painting I quickly felt a pull to use the negative space to pop the image. This painting has gone through three main stages. The last image of this video was brought into my digital drawing app, Autodesk Sketchbook on my dell 2/1 laptop. From there I was able to experiment with small elements signifiers that could add more content to the image. From the beginning of this piece I saw it a self portrait but wanted to the leave the identity more ambiguous. By this point I felt as though it was speaking to a specific enough place for me.
I settled on a merit badge. I saved a copy of the Invention merit badge from the Boy Scouts of America. Hoping not to make the painting too literal I loosely painted a reference to this. I'm excited for this painting and where it will lead my direction in the studio. While I'm home I'll be looking for more signifiers that can add weight to future figure paintings.
Thank you for reading the post! Happy Holidays!