Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Evolution of an Artist, Part Two

Last time, I showed you my evolution as a dynamic painter. There were people flying, bikes crashing, colors flashing, and Abraham Lincoln wearing a codpiece. And we saw that I am still, and will always be, in the process. If I was one of the humans in the evolution poster, I'd be the slightly hunched one with lots of hair that you can't really get clear pictures of.

But as much fun as I have building complex perspectives, sometimes simple is best. The most simple and impactful image, in my mind, is a portrait.

They say a face is worth a thousand words. They don't say that? A picture is? But what about a picture of a face? Yeah, that's what I thought. Back to what I was saying: They say a picture is word a thousand worth, and I'm inclined to agree. Don't re-read that sentence, it didn't make sense. You did? Sigh.

It is difficult to capture a person with line, or in paint, and even harder to say something about that person as you do it. I'm not there yet, but I've come a long way. How long, you ask? Do I have a delicious morsel for you, sweet buttercup.

This is a self portrait from high school. I was so proud of this piece. Instead of drawing something that had the appearance of becoming three dimensional, I sculpted something and nailed it to my artwork!

M.C. Escher, I bested you at the age of 16, thought I. This artwork was accepted to the St. Mary's art show, which is a little town that our littler town orbits like a moon. At the show, I was practically beaming, strutting from one end of the floor to the other. The young artiste.

A man walked up to me and pointed at my work. "You did this?" He asked.

"Yes!"Puffed I, chest forward.

"Well I was just wondering why you ruined a perfectly lovely drawing by nailing a hand to it." He was the hellspawned rebirth of M.C. Escher, jealous of my pioneering ways.

I have no proof of this.

Sufficiently deflated, I resigned to doing portraits the old fashioned way, by making them look like faces.

Ooof. Well, mostly like faces. Let's try that again.

Ah, better. Sadly, I didn't have the means to build a hand to nail to this one. Both of these are from freshman year at CCAD. Yeah, that's how good I was at painting. I think last time I saw a face that scary it was bearing down on the Nazis at the end of Indiana Jones. Just look away. It pretty much saves you from the wrath of God.

Speaking of Nazis, is that a Hilter 'stache or a shadow under her nose? Spoiler: it's a shadow. I'm kinda getting the hang of this paint with color thing. Kinda. This is from sophomore year.

Ah, you can see the influence of my illustration training in this picture of a penis. Freud! I mean Freud! You can see here that I am really trying to figure out colors and form. At this point, everything is still exaggerated. Look at that red nose.

My senior year, I decided to draw myself again, except this time thirty years in the future. I guess this is technically a portrait of my dad, but really. Black and white is still my strong suit here, and you can see I am just not that comfortable with painting yet:

After senior year, I sat on my hands for a while, just to keep them warm. This didn't allow me to draw very much, but I did get this done one day.

It is amazing how clearly comfortable I am with the charcoal medium. But the more I paint, the better I become. My most recent portrait shows that maybe, one day, when I lose all the hair and start sitting up straight, campers will actually be able to take clear photos of me.

I still want a funnel cake.

1 comment:

UKRay said...


I'm putting a Pinterest board together for UK artists and wondered if you are from our Islands? If so would it be OK to add your picture of a blues guitarist?

Regards, Ray Whiteway-Roberts.