Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Illusion

The Illusion
Oil on Panel

I haven't been posting much of my art lately because I've been working on paintings I wasn't sure I was ready to share yet. But I am now, so here's the first of three I'll share over the next few days. I've become very interested in mark-making as an expression of the inner workings and experiences of the mind. I wrote this in my sketchbook:

History is indelible:
It is written in hard lines on our bodies
and on our faces.

I'm using a combination of oil paint and pencil, with sandpaper to scratch or expose layers. I'm also using a knife to distress the surface in parts. It's an interesting process, moving between layering and revealing - pushing and pulling the medium until I'm satisfied with the surface - and then standing back to assess the results - perhaps then going back in to rework.

From a distance, the paintings look quite smooth and traditional; closer inspection reveals flaws, scars and unsightly marks.

Also - this is handy - I think I've found out what kind of art I'm's called Expressive Realism. I found a lengthy description by another artist, and although my work looks nothing like his, the ideas are the same. It's about treading the fine line between realism and expressionism. I'm a big fan of the German Expressionists, but I was never entirely happy with that extra step away from representation. I love abstract art, and the Renaissance is the root of everything I feel about art, but I've never been entirely comfortable with either of those schools a combination of everything I love about all of those styles is what I'm working towards.