Saturday, May 23, 2009


"JM At Paragon"
For the following "Passage" Triptych, I vaguelly paid attn. to these works. While he conservatively used orange, I was more interested within the shapes as well as the lay out of land, water, and sky.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


While working on this piece Ive been thinking a lot about the idea of the end of an expedition, for instance, the end of a glorious mountain climb. However, Ive had no interest in realistically depiciting a mountain scape, I would rather have the painting work similarly to a dream, which distorts and excludes information.
I have recieved criticism about this piece, through its stages. A close friend said it was ugly, refering to the color schene. The aim was to create different layers/shades of the color. Even though the criticism was held with high regard, I do not plan on obliterating or erasing the orange. I plan to use that orange carve away asepearte scene within the 1st panel. However, I am interested in the incorporation of an extra color bearing detail that could tie the scene together for a sense of closure and a step away from this stark color scheme.
For this piece I paid attn to some Peter Doig paintings. I also focused on Japanese prints, very liberally, but I enjoy the sense of floating an ungroundedness. Combination of images.

Panels 2 & 3 of Passage

. The middle panel represents the transition of this journey. The figure on the 3rd panel gazes out, the sun blocks out the clarity of his face. However this figure is a vague caricature of Peter Doig.

Panels 1 & 2 of Passage

The figure on the 1st panel is caricature inspired by the physiognomy of the reggae artist, Damian Marley. Placing these two artsits, with no realitive connection, creates a random narrative.

Panel 1 of "Swampland Observatory"

I am still working on the figures. The idea of movement is emphasized, in this piece. Vegetation and the natural surrounding are depicted as somewhat of a dangerous place, which makes the figures seem even more menacing.
I combined figural imagery. The inhabitant on the left is borrowed from an old newspaper photo, depicting a flood vicitim. The closer figure, the woman, is taken from a fashion magazine. While I do not want to render this figure as model, I wanted to appropriate that sense of movement, the walk.

I still need to work on the water and pull out some shapes within the background.

Center of

Panels 1 & 2 from

Army of One

This triptych has undergone some transformation in the past few weeks. This was much too dark of a scene, so I brightened a lot of the whites, which calls more signifigance to darker areas. Balance has been an important factor, or lack there of. I have enjoyed disrupting the flow of narrative from panel to panel, through leaving a good amount of information out. However, I plan to incorporate more detail within the background (the forest) that will create more of a flow, because I feel that is somewhat too fragmented as is.
Above all, the aim is to create a sense of chaos as well as elegance- not easy. The size of this painting, along with the chosen composition has been somewhat daunting.

Panels 1 & 2

Panel 1 into 2, presents a situation in which information has been left out. I plan to draw more of a connection. This is a prime example of the fragmentation previously mentioned. For instance, I would like the tree line in panel 1 to resemble the treeline in panel 2 more closely. Also, the ground in both of these pieces, is somewhat undefined, expecially within the panel 1, and in panel 2 I accidently put the dog right where the horizon should be. It is this coincidence of counter that I would like to foresee in future work, Drawing beforehand helps to prevent this.
In these panels, the land is to appear devastated and somewhat falling apart, not the case in panel 3.

Panels 2 & 3 of "Army of One"

I have been looking at Daniel Richters paintings that include menacing dogs. This was an idea that I had been considering, but I felt that I needed to paint through differnet stages before allowing myself to paint animals, it seemed arbitrary.
Richters dogs seemed very menacing and were at the disposal of menacing looking figures, that appear to be members of SWAT or something. While I had no interest in that type of subject matter, I found it interesting to include the wild appearance of one (or several) within the same scene as a human. I thought there was even a more signifcant way to do so.

Panel 2 and 3

Detail from Panel 1

The figure is taken from one of several 20 second sketches of my girlfriend. She was using yoga stances. While I do not want my work to be about yoga stances, this is more about her. Which I feel makes the work more personal. It is the type of stance I was looking for to depicft something elegant.
The smoke as well as the land, symbolizes something chaotic, such as a bombing. I am happy with this part of the painting. I feel it could stand alone as one piece.
A gritty foreground, with a devastated but natural background Adds to overall uncertainty of the atmosphere.
I plan to sharpen up the smoke stacks with hightlights and outline.

Detail of Dogs with "Army of One"

While this is still in progress, my aim is not to draw or paint the perfect dog. I want to give my viewer just enough information. As a result, these dark, transparent, silhouettes serve as a vehicle for my thoughts of chaos.


This piece features another combination of 2 images, both found in National Geographic. I have enjoyed pooling together selected areas of a photo onto one surface, to work as a type of collage,
Working this large (9 ft. in width) has given me more freedom to make such decisions. However, this has not been as challenging as the triptych, not as fragmented.
My mentor has stressed the importance of knowing when to embrace the empty space, the void. I think if I were to do this piecee over, I would have left the middle, the water more open, and have left a sliver of the background horizon and sky present.
I feel a consistenty with the figuration of my paintings: Gestures/stance/ posture has everything has ways of denoting rank and alliances. I am currently reviewing these ideas and am excited to blur the connections. However, I feel that I should be defining what exactly the agreement is about or against or for, rather than confusing the viewer furhter.

Detail of "Slum"

Detail of "Slum"


Panel 1 of Devoid

Panel 2 of Devoid

More recently, I have been struggling with the background, and how to make points converge or dissipate. While the diptych format has helped to break up the idea of continuity, it challenges me to think a lot harder about certain connecting points. I am enjoying the challenge, I feel that this piece has called for the most architectural decisions, and has given me the chance to flex my muscles with the idea of a drawn image.
Since the figures were somewhat confusing, too muddled and poorly rendered, I decided to turn to "Passage (Dawn)" for figural inspiration. While they look like aliens right now, my figures will hopefully carry a sense of a mysterious journey with them.

Duane Allman

Duane Detail