charcoal and oil portraiture
From gallery shows to individual commissions, portraits in charcoal and oil have been a joy to create. These works can range from 4 x 6 inches to 3 foot by 3 foot.
A three foot by two foot, hyperrealistic portrait of Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek is a monumental thing in itself. The selected lighting and wild hair of the reference photo added to the complexity.
Most portrait commissions are requested of specific moments - especially the wedding anniversary. Knowing how important these memories are requires turning the pressure into precision as each line of hair and shade of eye must be worthy of the captured moment.
As a part of a tiptych, I created three foot by two foot portraits of characters created by Henry Darger, the great midcentury outsider artist. Depicted here is a Blengiglomenean, a half-human creature with bat wings and horns.
ariel and caliban
Beginning my series of Shakespeare characters is "Ariel and Caliban" from The Tempest. The work (and its study) were completed in the Caravaggio style of a monochromatic layer followed by multiple glazings of thin color.
During the pandemic, I began reading as voraciously as I had during graduate school. When a friend introduced me to the work of author Valeria Luiselli, I began painting a portrait of her while reading Faces in the Crowd.