Last night was spent experimenting with a couple of studies of the same subject. Although I was experimenting, I wanted to keep the spirit of the style I've been doing. Sculpting more in bronze casting class has inspired me to take my style further. I wanted to keep the expressiveness of my recent studies, but with a 3D spin.
Since I started painting, I've always seemed to favor paper, wood panels, cardstock, and chipboard over canvas. It's not that I don't like canvas, but these surfaces are a lot more accessible, not to mention a lot cheaper. Plus, I feel my layered style works better on flat surfaces, rather than the textured surface of a canvas. Keeping that in mind, I wanted to include these surfaces into my work more. This first study was a test of that idea. Not to mention, it takes my loose abstract style even further into abstractness.
At first glance, you may be asking yourself "Umm what am I looking at?", but I ask you to take a step back and reexamine this piece. It's exactly what I had to do when I finished it. At first, I was puzzled at what had been created. I had gotten so lost in the process of creation, that I didn't even remember some of the cardstock I had torn and placed, then gone over with paints. I had "Constructed Chaos" out of the subject. Even though this was loosely based on someone, the actions, layers, and feelings contained are mine.
Like an earlier experiment, "The Act of Creation" had taken over. During the process of creation, I let go and my subconscious took over. Creating the portrait from the deep well of abstraction without the worry of correctness. Where a nose can be represented as a bent piece of paper without question. Letting the mind create form from its raw elements. This study not only took me by surprise, it actually shocked and disgusted me at first. Yet, I didn't understand why exactly, so I set it aside to move onto the next study.
After my journey into complete abstraction, the need for structure struck me. I grabbed my old familiar friend, Apoxie Sculpt, and set to work. I wanted this study to encompass my loose painting style, but again, in a 3D manner.
I started off sculpting the nose, which expanded into the brow line and "eyes". From there, I added some extra epoxy to the cheeks and chin. Not too much though, I only wanted a slight rise from the flat surface. Giving the illusion that the paint had come to life and was rising from itself. Right from the start, this study had a lot more collected thought and execution.
Even though this study was going as planned, something felt off about it. It wasn't until I really started the painting process that I knew what it was, the study was "Finely Forced". Unlike my recent studies, this one had a defined nose, and brow. This took away from the spontaneity of the painting. No longer could the nose just be a beautiful stroke of multi-colored paint, instead, it was a nose with fragmented paint on it. The expressive life had become stifled with the concrete idea of the face. Whereas the first study was done completely in the spirit of abstractness and spontaneity, this one felt lifeless. As if I knew what had to be done and left my feelings out of it.
Both of these studies taught me a lot though. They've shown me that I strive in the world of chaotic creation and when I start to overthink a piece before I start, I lose all sense of myself in my creation. This isn't what I want from my work, I would rather create a piece that people don't understand, rather than creating something calculated that doesn't speak to me. I will continue my studies, but I would expect to see more in the style of the first study than the second.
Until next time, keep creating my friends!
"It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child."