Reflections: The primary purpose in creating this website is to showcase my works, but as much of its creation predates the establisment of this site (and even the Internet), history about my process and thinking are lost. I have a storage tub that contains cartoons and diaries of my earliest formative age, but I cannot bear to look closely at it, or read my purple, self-absorbed prose. I prefer perfect amnesia of most of this history. So at some level I cultivate forgetfulness: that of not paying attention to things that might interest other people.
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Studies (pencil and acrylic on paper, respectively) 1984
Plein-air Landscape (oil) 1983. I did not think much of this painting at the time it was created. I did not like painting outdoors, but the Impressionists inspired me. The bluish coloring and less-resolved brushwork also shows influence of the Impressionists. This was an early venture and, unfortunately, I ended up destroying this canvas because its style did not fit into my schemes. This tree was from my backyard, but nothing else was, which makes this something of a hybrid Plein-air painting, much like Nicolas Poussin taking notes from Nature, but then composing his canvases in his studio.
Lemon Glove (Photorealist Study) (oil) 1983. This is the second canvas I painted in my first studio painting class. (I do not have a record of the first, but it was a greenish still-life.) Photorealism has a small corner in my arsenal, but so many people do it that it is difficult to forge an original perspective.
Red Rose (Photorealist Study) (oil) 1985. This is the only other pure photorealist painting I attempted; and for a self-proclaimed unconventional painter, this is the soul of convention. The canvas was huge, and I think my primary motivation in executing it was to see if I could pull it off. Technically, this is late in my output from this period, but I thought to include it in the section because it I had nowhere else to put it.
Baby Date (Photorealist Study) (acrylic and modeling paste) 1983. At first glance, this does not look like a photorealist painting, but it is based on an overexposed Polaroid picture from my childhood (circa 1958-60). Its roughness was excuse to experiment with materials.
Ink Sketch (self-portrait in ballpoint pen) 1984. There is a self-absorbed tendency when one turns to figurative realism as a style. Like Rembrandt, I was my only available model; and also like Rembrandt, it was impossible to escape the allure of confession.
Gotterdammerung (oil and acrylic self-portrait) 1984. Oil and acrylic do not mix, although acrylic, much like gesso, can be used as underpaint for oil paintings. The same is true for any water-based, fixed paint. Resultantly, I used enamel house paint under many of my large canvases during this time, as economy is ever present in the mind of the art student working with a limited budget.
Whispers, Isabella? (oil an acrylic) 1985. Although studio space was set aside for me at The University of Memphis campus, I did not avail myself of it. I avoided this studio largely because of the conspicuous, personal, and grandiose scale of my work. All the paintings presented on this page were part of my BFA exhibition, although I immediately wanted to take down the show after I put it up, perhaps out of embarrassment; I was talked out of this.
Petrouchka (oil and acrylic) 1984. Obviously, where one lifts anatomy from Victoria Secret catalogs, one is apt to get it right. I portray myself as Petrouchka, and hold a portrait of myself also dressed as Petrouchka. My third image is superimposed in the mirrored glass covering this portrait, where I am seen as the painter. This idea was lifted from the Spanish painter Velazquez. Art historical references appear regularly in my developmental work.
Petrouchka (detail). Still-lifes have been a fallback for me from the beginning, first in offering opportunities to show off my observational painting skills, but also in offering imaginative points of departure.
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