From one to many

I am challenging myself to create group portraits. It is a continuation of expressing the notion that that those who are prisoners, whether criminals or victims are connected to us and we to them. I did some drawings of groups when I was exploring images of my father as a child during World War II. These drawings led me back to the whole painting surface, as I am using negative and positive space to bring the picture into harmony. This was influenced by a talk I gave at the George School, when I spoke of how I was breaking the rule I learned in school of covering the whole canvas with paint. I rejected this in my series of fighters; now I am returning to it. My reading of the finely researched and brilliantly written David Park: a painter’s life by Nancy Boas also contributed to my thoughts about this painting. Park is my role model because of his ability to convey the universality of people. He did it with amazing technique, energy and integrity.

Alcatraz

Alcatraz (detail upper left)

Dodeles_Elise_Alcatraz_graphite_paper_4x6_2014w

Study of figures workingFigures walking (father in foreground)

Children

Maryanne, complete

At least I have this to show for my week-long bout with illness. Perhaps my desire to move as quickly as I could, but being unable to move at more than a glacial pace, is the reason for this painting’s somewhat frenzied paint application. Or it could just be my usual need to plow forward, tearing myself away from my limiting idea of what a painting must be. One thing I am happy about is that I allowed the paint to create the painting: thoughtful of course, but with healthy doses of spontaneity and serendipity. A very effective prescription.

Maryanne (complete)

 

 

All Hail the Queen

Her previous girlfriend called her ‘La Reina’, the Queen. I call her ‘Little’. Somewhere between these two poles I am seeking a true(ish) version of Maryanne. This is Maryanne after a few painting sessions. She finally agreed to be painted because, she said, “I won’t take it personally, since you make everyone look …. ” Hmmm. I wonder what she meant.

Maryanne (in process 1)