The pencil was my initial rendering tool... and I used it with wild abandon and joy... on any blank surface that begged to be filled. I used whatever paper was available in our house, cereal boxes or rummaged shirt forms... evening the smooth pink coloured waxed paper used to wrap meat in my Uncle John's meat market. My greatest joy was to be making pictures... and often in a comfy chair listening to the "family entertainment center" of our day... the Roger's Majestic Radio. The ritual hasn't changed much... but the ante has as a working artist. "Correctness" now matters" a great deal, as does my choice of medium.
I have explored the use of a variety of different mediums broadly and for the most part, I feel comfortable working in any that I choose to work from. But my strong preference remains in using oils for any project... both in the field, in the studio and in any scale or format.
While I did undertake to paint reasonable portraits of most of my teenage girlfriends, looking back their handling lacked a sense of proper finish and worse, they lacked any sense of emotional understanding connection tho the sitter. I believe that quality and goal to be the ultimate "holy grail" for any portrait maker. A portrait should indeed capture a good representational likeness of the sitter... but it should somehow reveal a deeper understanding of the personality and an inner connection to the spirit of the sitter.
Second Stage of Foundation Work
I decided to develop a more highly evolved and sophisticated ability to handle still life subjects which incorporated more realism, but at the same time characteristics which evoked human comparisons and traits. These usually were amplified by a very careful chosen title for the study. Here is a cross-section of work that might offer insight to my motivations and outcomes visually. There is an inference intended that the goose in both of these similar paintings has feelings very similar to humans.
"Lady in Waiting" - water color 22x 30 inches on 300 lb Arches Paper SOLD
Version II - "Lady in Waiting Revisited" Artist's Collection
Some shared elements... some different. Very different formats and moods.... Why????
I wonder... Wanna hazard some thoughts???
Allie never failed to return from her Venetian travels and adventures bearing gifts. This was a gift back to her from me... using her gifts to me as elements.
"A Cup Full O' Summer" SOLD
Wild flowers in their summer cycle speak aloud to the person who pays attention of a specific moment and month in summer. They seem always to me to be story tellers whose tales are the stuff of good poetry and verse. They are perennial recorders of summer's passage.
"A Few of My Favourite Things" GIFTED
"Embracing Winter... and Life" SOLD
"River Dance"- oil on canvas 40 x 30 inches SOLD
A favourite painting of mine... very different in style from most of my other paintings - a departure for that matter. Again the landscape creates a conversation... one which engages parts of the painting, but at the same time extending an invitation to the viewer to join in "the dance".
All of these paintings make use of non-human characters whose function is encourage the viewer to step beyond reality for the sake of reality. These efforts are but one step from actual portraiture as we carry it out as a genre. Are they not really... "portraits" of my inner thoughts???
Stay tuned for some actual portraits.