I found a painting that I did over 10 years ago, back when I was in art school, and it gave me pause. It’s strikingly similar to the work that I’m currently doing. Back then, I had fallen deeper in love with the figure and portraiture and decided that oil paint was my favorite medium. I was particularly attracted to color and its symbolic and expressive qualities. Incorporating that into my figure paintings was something that I wanted to explore. Luckily I was given an opportunity to experiment with that in the final project of a figure painting class in college. The result was this blue girl here:

bluegirl

“Blue Girl”, 2003. Oil on canvas.

 

It definitely stood out from the rest of the class simply because it was such a radical departure from the more academic style of painting. But that was the only time I ever tried anything like that for a long time. After I graduated from that school and started going to other classes and workshops the focus was more about capturing accurate colors and values, anatomy¬†and light. However with my Hemorrhage series I naturally gravitated towards the extreme color palette I experimented with in school. Honestly, I think the more traditional tutelage really helped my experimental, abstract side so I won’t say that I lost anything by deviating from it for a while. I think that the figurative work I’m doing now is a vast improvement upon what I’ve done in the past. Plus my style has changed a lot too.

distance

“Distance” 2014. 16″x20″, oil on canvas. Part of the Hemorrhage series.

 

Now that I’ve completed my first series as an artist, for now I think the plan is to continue working on this new development in my style. I noticed that once I started allowing myself to paint freely while applying what I’ve learned over the years that my work is starting to have more of an impact, visually and content-wise. Personally I’m excited to see where things will go from here.

 

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