Oil on canvas
The classic artist's medium and surface. When some one says "painting" in reference to the fine arts what they usually mean is oil painting on canvas pulled taut over a wooden stretcher strips. I'll break the subjects of my oil paintings down in three categories:
Art as an image.
I like images. Pictures of things, if you will. I also like creating images that no one has seen before. This means exploring the deep corners of my imagination and seeing what lurks there. Often I start drawings with no idea of what I'm going to draw. I put some lines on paper and see what they would suggest. A mark will lead into another and then another until a whole world is born and I'm not even sure where it came from.
Faces are one of my favorite images to use whether it's someone's real face or one I make up. A face is made of all kinds of interlocking and overlapping shapes. I like to play with the shapes using a simple series of lines and colors to represent the face.
Art as a surface.
The thing you can't see in a reproduction of a painting is the surface. Viewed on screen or in a print every painting is flat, smooth, and glossy. In person the effect of the surface on the painting is often a main point of the painting. In my paintings I lay down parallel brush strokes of thick color giving the paint a "grain", this give the paint a weight. The direction of the strokes also varies from horizontal to, vertical, diagonal or just following the form. This affects the light hitting the paint and therefor the color. The same color applied to the canvas in different directions can give the appearance of two different colors.
The pairing of images and words.
One of the main concerns of a painting is space. One way artist can use a canvas to create a stage, trying to convince the viewer that what is taking place on the canvas could be as real as the viewer. An abstract painter uses geometric space to lead us around a canvas with shape and color.
One of my favorite subjects is the space created by the interplay of words and pictures. Looking at a picture and you're looking at the space as defined by the artist. Add some words to the picture and things change. In the act of reading we see the words in our head and visualize them. Seeing the word "apple" makes us rummage through our brains until we conjure up a mental picture of an apple and we get it. Apple is defined. Most times that we see words and pictures are in newspaper photos with captions, movies with subtitles, and in comic strips or books. In these cases words and picture are working together with the viewers imagination to create a space that is seamless and believable. When Charlie Brown "talks" we believe it's Charlie Brown talking.
But what if that space between the words and pictures wasn't literal? What if the subtitles didn't match what the actor was saying? This is the space I like to explore. The space of imagination that exists between words and pictures. The interplay of the symbolic nature of pictures and the completely different symbolic nature of words.