I was in my kitchen a few weeks ago, staring into middle space when my eyes came to rest upon a pencil drawing hanging there [see above] I had created some time ago and was reminded that it had been way too long since I made one of these little gems. A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, I was working on a series of drawings titled “Snap Shots” [see end of the figurative series and below]. They were based on photos from my childhood and were rendered in my favorite unfocused yet detailed style. Looking at the drawing in my kitchen I decided to do a new one. Recently, I had painted two black and white works for my Urban Landscape series, so it seemed like kismet to think about regenerating this pencil series now.
Looking through my collection of photos to use for this project I found this one among even older photographs from my mother’s childhood. I believe this to be a great aunt. I was drawn to the way her face was in partial shadow and the pattern on the curtains behind her with light striating through them.
I have also included here a painting from my figurative series, because it too was conceived in this Snap Shot working style. I had always believed that this style would work well rendered in paint. It seemed like such a perfect fit that I wondered why I hadn’t attempted a painting in this manner sooner. The work itself was initially intended as my “White Dress” painting, which I should explain. I had been to a wonderful Tiepolo exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum. Included was a painting of four nuns. One wore a black habit with the remaining three wearing white. What fascinated me about this piece was how each of the white dresses was of a different shade from the others. I was spellbound. You would think that white is white, but you would be wrong. There was such a variety of techniques, with subtlety and great depth. I stood mesmerized. I began to see it as a challenge and decided to make the attempt myself. Exiting through the gift shop, I thought to buy a catalog of the show to have a copy of the painting as reference, but the print of it fell woefully short. Even the highest quality photographic reproduction could not capture the wonders of this masterpiece. I was left with only my impressions to work from. So be it.
And so started the white dress project, which presented itself as the perfect opportunity to create a painting in the style of my Snap Shot drawings, as well. The painting never came close to capturing what I had witnessed at the Met, but I was pleased with the results for other reasons. The overall mood was to my liking, which is important to me with all my work. The Snap Shot part of the painting was headed in the right direction and I enjoyed partially abstracting part of the image as it made its way towards the edges.
I plan to continue exploring both these Snap Shot drawings and paintings sometime in the future