Saturday, March 1, 2014

"Sometimes over coffee they were almost friends," and "Rose likes things tidy"

It is hard to write about painting, and it is especially hard to write about your own paintings. But here I sit wanting to share not only my work, but some thoughts with you too. Up untill now I have been posting just images and sizes and the occasional quick blurb.  But now I'm going to change things up a bit, at least for a while.  I've been inspired to write and share a bit more about my work.

I like to paint people who feel familiar, people I end up knowing for some reason or other.
During the painting process I have a great time thinking about their lives. I play around with composition so that there is a space around the figure that feels just right for their personality. I like the intimacy of a direct gaze, but I know sometimes people are too shy or shifty for that. When I paint a diptych, like the one above, the relationship between the two takes over. It just happens organically. I painted them as individuals and I know them both so well, but together they have their own thing.

The titles I give provide a glimpse into their lives. It is usually based on what I was thinking while I was painting. For instance, I thought about how Rose's life is about routine and hard work. I also imagine that she is Portugese and that her house smells like delicious food. I often think about smells when I paint. Her husband doesn't talk much but they get along well enough. He is gentle and kind and a litttle bit of a jokester.

My grandfather used to unplug the vacume on my grandmother when she was busy vacuuming and it would get her every time.  I'm not sure if I remember that, or just remember my grandmother telling me about it, but it is stored in my memory and was part of the inspiration here.

I enjoy the process of memory and imagination and paint and the story that happens (even if it's only in my head).