I am working on a new painting (2015.12.20.031). It is a picture of a man standing in front of a daylight window. The sun is quite bright and causes a strong back light. The figure is approaching a female apparition (or is it?). Over the course of thinking about the ideas behind this image and doing the painting I have begun studying muscles. I also have been working on painting in such a way that less explains more.
The idea behind this painting is simple.
When we search for relationships we never know where the searching will lead—nor do we really know what will be revealed either during or upon discovery. The searches can take place in person, on the internet or in an imaginary land. As I age I find that my searching is moving quickly from the physical to the imaginary. This is an interesting return to my childhood—since I lived mostly in an imaginary world that was shrouded in the reality of working, studying and existing. I have, in effect, come full circle. Searching my imagination instead traveling through this world searching for the unknown.
This detail shows the upper buttocks and left arm of the man as he walks toward the red persona. His left arm is swinging slowly as if ready to embrace. The light bounces between the cocked arm and the hip. The shadows embrace his back. My brush searches for his muscles—knowing that they will need to be responsive and capable no matter what he discovers. Searching can not happen at rest. Even sitting in a chair and thinking is working the brain. It is searching that reveals what we need to cling to; what defines the fragments of support we need to be whole. This detail also attempts, in my clumsy way, to suggest that transparency reveals not only what propels us but also what we search. For searching is my way of finding the new but also repairing what may be broken or missing.
The blue cast of this painting was inspired by William Gass’s “On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry.” Of course I also know of Wittgenstein’s words on blue. Blue can refer to illicitness, sadness, brightness and melancholy; or define a tune; describe a set of penetrating eyes. I chose blue for the cast of this painting because of the uncertainty of the outcome of the search this man is just beginning. He does not know the results and thus the color blue, being so chameleon like, seems perfectly appropriate.
What color blue will your search reveal?