I thought it would be appropriate to update my post from last month. Above is the completed image that was submitted for exhibition in Louisiana. It is titled Mr. "Babbineaux." Like most of my figurative work, I begin with a sketch of an actual person. The finished work however is not meant to be a portrait. There are a lot of interesting things that happen while painting, and one of the things I really like, is the way a painting can take on a personality and life of its own. I think this is particularity true when creating a work based on the figure. The end result of my images of people is something that I call a character painting. It no longer represents the person on whom the original sketch was made, and the figure projects a personality all his/her own. This personality developed during the creative process, and is different each time.
For this painting, I started with a photograph of a convicted murderer on death row. New evidence was found, and it turned out he was innocent. He was cleared of all charges and released. Something about his eyes appealed to me. In the photograph he seemed to harbor no malice, despite the years of his life unjustly taken from him. Some of these ideas transferred from the photograph, to the sketch, and ultimately to the painting. The figure still has a haunted, tired look. But, overall he seems pleasant. Like an old man sitting on a park bench enjoying the day. All this came together during the act of painting.
No word yet on if this work has been accepted for exhibition. The drop-off day for accepted works is July 15. So, I should hear something very soon. Given the time frame tough, I'm not overly optimistic that it has been accepted.
This is the latest painting that I am working on. It is for my sister and I have put it off for a long while. She wants a Buddha picture. I resisted painting this picture for a variety of reasons, including cultural appropriation. Ultimately, I decided to do the image because my sister requested it. I would normally not do a work of this sort. I will post progress on this image as I work on it.
Finally, I want to close with this video. It addresses issues of artists, galleries, and the way that nobody likes to discuss art-selling as a business. I don't enter as many shows as I used to, and part of the reason for that is that it's a huge investment of time, energy, and money with very little return. This video exemplifies how this can sometimes come to be. From my perspective, I sometimes wonder if this undisclosed financial structure within the art world exists to weed out artists. I don't know. It could also just be sour grapes on my part because my work is not well regarded. Anyway, see what you think.