Part of my solo exhibit with Susan Calloway Fine Arts this month, “Long Interval” exemplifies the reason I love to paint. Fluid, gestural brushstrokes, bold color, rich paint, and loose construction all hint at a feeling of a place and time. Whether anticipation or regret, relaxation or tension, the image of this figure conveys an ambiguous moment. Each of us can narrate a different, but credible story for this painting. It depends on our own unique perspective and life experiences.
Making one’s way through life is tough. Nikki Giovanni’s poem “Straight Talk” provided the feel and title for this new piece, because its words capture the image’s idea of moving forward despite uncertainty.
Full disclosure, this photographic rendering fails to capture the nuance and richness of the original artwork. I’m sure everyone on earth knows that computer monitors, as well as film, lighting, and digital manipulation all alter reality. Despite photographers’ best efforts, an image can never duplicate 100% the original. It can hint. It can titillate. It can encourage the viewer to go see the painting in a museum or gallery. For artwork, there is no substitute for the real thing – the brushwork, hints of uncovered color, a deep teal hue blending into a rich gray, punctuated by cadmium orange.
In that sense a work of art reflects life. A photo of Machu Picchu cannot begin to duplicate the feeling of being there in the mountains, the wind eratically bending grass, smells of foliage, tactile feel of rock work honed by the hands of citizens from an ancient, long gone civilization.
This one-of-a-kind painting will be at Susan Calloway Fine Arts in September 2015.