Before tracking my current paintings, I thought I would post some of my finished pieces from my portfolio. Additional (and higher resolution) portfolio images can be found at the following sites:
Finished works on Facebook
Finished works on my homepage
Unfinished works on Facebook
Unfinished works on my homepage
Much of my work in art school involved painting models. The following two paintings are good examples.
To the left is a reproduction of a portrait. The piece is done in oil. I am fond of the chiaroscuro style, reminiscent of many classical works that have inspired my own artistic pursuits. This high classical style I plan to cultivate in a number of my upcoming projects.
The second work (right) is done from a model, who regularly posed at MICA. Also done in oil, my efforts here were to step out of my comfort zone a bit and work much more loosely. Much of this particular painting was done with a palette knife. In many places the paint is heavily applied, while other areas (specifically in the background) are applied with a rather thinned paint.
In addition to working from models, I would often produce self-portraits. After all, if no model is available, you had best be your own model. I have pasted below two such self-portraits - both oil paintings.
The first (left) is in many ways a synthesis of the two paintings previously discussed. It is a portrait much like the first. It aims at a certain amount of high realism. At the same time, it aims at utilizing the looser style of the second portrait.
This second self-portrait was a peculiar work for me on several fronts. First, I was using an extremely restricted palette. I wanted to see how many colors I could pull from only black, white, and a few earth tones. Second, I was working on a canvas that had very little gesso applied, which made it more adsorbent than what I typically worked on. Third, I was aiming at a high realism, but looking to produce the painting in a single sitting. And finally, though I was aiming at realism, I was working from a mirror that was slightly warped and quite intentionally placed at an odd angle. I am rather pleased with the result.
Some years back, I decided to begin exploring alternate styles. That is, I began looking at more than loose or tight oil painting, and began playing with out-of-the-box techniques. One technique I toyed with was a mix of pencil or charcoal drawing and acrylic washes.
To the left is my first effort. As you can see, the washes are very thin. Since I was using a very classical image (viz., a traditional pieta), the goal was subtlety and softness.
The painting on the right is more heavy-handed. Rather than pencil, I chose to use charcoal; the washes are thicker and more washers were used; and the whites are added back in with white pencil, rather than coming from the gesso beneath. This piece was meant to look a bit more edgy.
One final experiment I will mention before closing out this post is my early flirtation with iconography. While I now do traditional Eastern Orthodox iconography, when I first began exploring this type of art, I did not abide by the rules of iconography.
To the left, you will see my first efforts in this area. I took a traditional pantocrator icon, but I modified it. Rather than using the traditional flattening techniques, I attempted to capture the more awkward anatonomy of more flat icons, but simultaneously aimed at giving some three-dimensionality to it. I also did not abide by the traditional texts, but added my own choice of text (Jn 1:1 in Greek) in the background. This is not to mention the fact that it is painted in acrylic rather than egg tempera, and the gold is not gilded; it is acrylic paint as well.
To the right is my second effort. This one, again, springboards off of traditional iconography, but modifies it. The painting is really a combination of traditional iconography and Grunewald. The imagery is a mix of traditional images and my own ad hoc modifications. The painting was produced for a Greek Orthodox woman. To my surprise, she managed to have it blessed - although, only after I made a handful of modifications, per the demands of her priest.
I now have a great deal of reverence for iconography and would not dream of modifying it. I paint it strictly according to its traditional guidelines. But, at the time of these two works, I was both ignorant and irreverent.
I look forward to sharing my more recent projects.