To me, a cinder block wall is beautiful, especially if it is weathered, scarred, and stained. Grey concrete block walls have personality and character, so I often paint this subject matter. This painting sat in my studio for several months without the figures painted in. I tried to build up the courage to simply leave the painting as was, letting the emphasis be entirely on the gray cinder block surface. This was enough for me, but I worried that nobody else would "get it."
Although there are many subtle colors in the gray, which adds a level of interest upon close inspection, I still feared it was just too minimal for the audience of the show I was exhibiting it in. Every time I entered my studio, I'd glance at the piece to see if anything revealed itself to me.
Over time, I began to envision floating human figures, as though arising from the mist. I knew the mental image was informed by cave paintings that I had seen years ago. Recently, I found the reference photo, and as you can see, it had made an indelible impression. Prehistoric cave paintings influence me greatly. I easily relate to the exaggerated shapes of the animals and the minimal, simplified depiction of humans. You will see cave art references in many of my paintings.
Complex Personality • acrylic on silk • 96" x 96"
(click on image to enlarge painting)
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