Syrian Refugees Flight from Civil War
These three paintings (below) combine the use of watercolor and gouache. Each was begun from a photo I had taken and then cropped to a format I liked design-wise, and contrast-wise. Then I spent hours involved in the drawing process. Looks like my astigmatism was responsible for the leaning dome in the picture with the pigeons painted from my trip to Venice Italy a few years back
I found myself totally absorbed in the process of drawing and then interpreting my subjects with paint on arches watercolor paper. With each piece, as I developed it over several days, I couldn't wait to get back to it to see where it was going.
On Easter this year I took my camera to Cranbrook, not far away from my home. It is an architectural gem, built at a time when the cost of perfection was still possible. The finest crafts people were available to produce whatever was wanted in the finest way possible, from architecture, to materials, to statuary, to tapestries, to furnishings. Because of the lack of people on the property that day, I felt I had access to so much of the Academy that I had never seen before. These paintings are a result of all I beheld that day. I had a stimulating time being engrossed with my subject matter in a playful, inventive manner.
I am still working on the third painting of this series, but I know it is going to lead to other artistic adventures.
Then the references relating to her hat kept gnawing away at me. Then I was doing my mental reference work...the Cotton Club, dancing at the Savoy, Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Harlem's Rennaisance, the Apollo Theater, New York's brownstone houses, Mulberry Street, Broadway, and so on... Eventually I decided to focus on New York City in the 1920's. But what a good time I had taking that mental trip to arrive at where I did in my painting! Even the clothing in the painting became altered to make my character jive with the times. This is an acrylic painting using a slew of collaged elements to complete it. It's a mixed-media/Collage piece of work. I bet this woman is surprised to find herself back in time!
Completed two days ago, this painting absorbed me for the three hours I worked on it. When I stopped to clean my brushes at the end of the session, I realized that I liked what had transpired while I was lost in the painting process. A sense of human dignity appeared in this man who, I am aware, has had his struggles with survival in a less than friendly world. But what emerged had much to say about endurance, and the will to keep going against the odds. I knew that it was a finished painting as it was at that point. I had nothing else to say...and went away satisfied.
3 HOUR PORTRAIT