The question for today’s blog poses an even more challenging exploration than the question of medium, discussed in my previous entry.
Why do I select the subject matter I do? And how does that relate to who I am? The truth is that I am drawn to such a wide variety of subject matter that it’s difficult to find the commonalities that will help me answer that question.
My personality is such that I like people to get to the point. So I try to get to the point, myself. And it holds true for painting, too, which is probably why my work tends to retain a certain degree of realism, concentrating on the focal area and merely suggesting, to varying degrees, the supporting information. Fun and innovation are fine, but I try to be as considerate of my viewers as I want others to be of me, incorporating fun that my viewers can relate to and enjoy along with me.
What interests me in a subject? I’m drawn to subjects that allude to universality more than specifics and that trigger the viewer’s imagination. I like to use landscapes that, though usually of real places from my own life experience, may suggest similar locales from the viewer’s personal or vicarious experiences—allowing an armchair traveler, for instance, to liken it to something he or she has read about, even if not having experienced something similar in person.
I like to depict a sense of timelessness or indications of passing time more than modernity. Graceful, organic lines appeal to me more than architectural angularity.
When considering light, I look for translucence, side-lit and back-lit subjects, or a glow of color that enlivens an otherwise unexceptional subject. And I like the “language” and added dimensionality of reflections.
When my subjects are people or animals, I look for the gesture—a sense of action or dynamic tension that suggests the figure’s unique identity, what the subject is doing, or something about the subject’s character or personality. In faces, I look for something interesting or characteristic in proportions, features, or expression that will help to define the subject for the viewer—more than the eye alone might normally notice.
To me, these things are beautiful and worth drawing attention to, and I want to express their value for my viewers’ consideration and appreciation.