Wednesday, August 13, 2008
"What do I ask of a painting? I ask it to astonish, disturb, seduce, convince." ~Lucian Freud
"The Lookout, oil on canvas, 48"x36", is another painting of my friend Carly. One day I saw her at work and she had on the most beautiful white, flowing dress...I had to paint it. I asked her if she might wear it on a photoshoot. She obliged and it is in the painting you see now.
We were out at LaSalle Park here in Burlington and we had finished up our shots. I really wanted to do another painting with a lot of sky and minimal ground in it. The first place that came to mind was Sioux Lookout, a little spot next to Lake Ontario here in town. We zipped across town and I got the shots I was after. I wondered about landscape or portrait orientation for the canvas but portrait won out in the end. I love painting atmospheric perspective and I knew I would have more fun with the different variations of blue with a portrait format.
Years ago I painted another painting of Sioux Lookout. I suppose it reoccurs in my work simply because I grew up very close to it and know how it might work into a painting.
I wanted Carly to simply be looking...it can be taken literally or metaphorically, like almost all of my work. I try not to wax melodramatic in my paintings but the idea of painting a white flowing dress with lots of sky was just too appealing to pass up.
Soon I am off to the Alaskan Interior to see what sort of paintings might come from its northern climes. I have absolutely no idea how it will figure into my work, whether it will be an easy transition or a struggle. People are integral for my paintings and I will rely upon capturing self-portraits and new friends who are amenable to being painted. Fortunately no one has declined my offer yet so I hope that trend continues! The trick is to fight against wanting to paint landscape-heavy works in a place so very topographically unique. I have to find that bridge between the two and hopefully find a successful melding of subject matter on the canvas.
“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.”
~Henry Ward Beecher quotes