This one was different in the sense that I showed up for one of the life drawing groups I draw with and the model was a woman I know and dance with! Tamara. She’s wonderful.
These first impression paintings are somewhat about how much information we fill in on our own from an initial meeting, exchange of energy, first impression. Overthinking.
In writing this post, I found a raw and personal draft about this project from a year ago when these were just forming. I still haven’t gotten to the place where it feels appropriate to share it though. Maybe someday.
Anyway, I’ve been making slow paintings from quick croquis. I worked from a 30 second gesture drawing here. There are some process shots in the gallery below too. If it’s not done, it’s close.
It was difficult to find a stopping point with this one, I know her and what she looks like. I suppose it’s kind of parallel to the sense of meeting some who has strong and familiar energy pull.
It doesn’t look like her.
Tamara is a fantastically creative woman. See what I’m talking about in her blog.
First Impressions, Tamara. 12×12″ oil on canvas, 2019
Figures on Clothes was my first series of paintings starting c. 2003. To me, they began with the relationship between clothing and nudity using the human form explored between subject matter and material. I painted these nude female figures directly onto the surface of stretched and prepared clothing as I would on primed canvas.
The idea behind First Impressions has been on my mind quite a bit lately. It’s fascinating to me how much people are able to instinctively fill in about others upon a relatively brief meeting. Logically and verbally, only so many questions can be answered but much intuitive information still resides in sense and energy.
I do a fair amount of drawing from life. The figure drawing parallel occurred to me – croquis are these fast drawings that capture gesture, shape, position, and weight in seconds. They often contain enough information to fill in the blanks to translate quick lines into solid human forms with energy and emotion.
That’s exactly how first impressions work… we flesh out quick skeletal scribbles into emotionally concentrated human forms with very little to go on.
Each of the photographed paintings above are: 10×10″, Oil on Wood, 2018
Connection is a recent body of work that began painting dancers. Started in 2016, it’s a series of oil paintings, watercolor paintings, drawings, and ink drawings exploring human connection with body language, touch, and gesture; communicating and connecting without words through improvisational lead and follow social dancers. As a dancer and former media employee, this body of work is a reflection of communication in contrast to verbal or written language with undertones of honesty, transparency, and authenticity.
I’ve been working on bridge paintings that relate connection from another perspective. This subject matter allows me to more easily play with ideas of both connection and disconnect, building bridges, demolition, new vs. old, past vs. present, change, etc..
Figures on Clothes was one of my first series of paintings around 2003. I painted them with relationship ideas between clothing and the human form explored between subject matter and material. I painted nude female figures directly onto the surface of stretched and prepared clothing as I would on primed canvas.
In 2018, I started doing these oil paintings called “First Impressions”. They’re paintings from croquis flushed out in oil paint much the way we fill in unknown character traits based on little more than instincts after meeting someone.