I have loved painting the figure over the years and for me the figure has become a symbol of life to me. I have simplified it with every painting in an effort to strip it bare and find the deeper essence of life. I once painted all the details in the face and anatomy but have successively grown less attracted to the details and more infatuated with the shape as a whole. The breaking down and finding the lines of separation and dissection that work to give the figure action and life without limiting the ability to be universally intriguing. As a small child I used to love seeing my shadow, in a diverse and complicated way I see my figurative work serving the same purpose for me today. I could make my shadow take the shape I wanted it to take; but often, it would surprise me and elongate or curve over a surface and create some new form that was foreign at first, but still recognizable as me. The figure represents an open door to possibilities to me, it is a metaphor of not only who I am, but possibly what I would like to be and also what I wished I were not etc.
I started the Fish Nets with just the wood board with a charcoal gesture mark on the wood. I next coated the piece with clear wax. I knew it would be a figure, so I began planning the amount of space the figure would cover and masked it out and applied many more coats of pigmented wax, fusing between each layer. I then carved the figure out a bit more and added wax to the shape.
detail of netting effect
detail of netting effect
I took net from a wine bottle and pressed it into the soft wax to create even more texture. I next applied burnt umber oil paint and wiped it off in places, in order to bring out the texture of the net. I kept adding layers of wax in places to finish off the piece, fusing with my heat gun between each and every layer.
In the second piece I began it with a collage of found papers on the wood. I adhered the papers with matte medium and let them dry. I applied the wax over the collage and carved into the wax to highlight the shapes of the figures. It is graphic and simple but it evolved this way and I like the fact that it is so simple and the foundation of collage was so complicated. I think it is a fitting finish for the thought behind the painting, Between Good and Evil. The textural surface of the layers of beeswax and oil paint simply add to the integrity and interest of my figurative works. I am amazed at the build up texture that can be achieved with the wax. Take care and have a great month!
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