Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Doldrums - Introduction

one view of my home studio
featured drawing: study of Frank, Micron brush tip marker on paper, 24"x18"


The Doldrums” is a work-in-progress painting project that explores the idea of “winter doldrums”, “cabin fever”, and comfort in one's living space.

Focusing primarily on observational painting, these scenes from inside various apartments will play with saturated darks and desaturated colors (such as the pale yellow lighting in my bathroom). The subjects are the company I kept during my most recent case of the “winter doldrums”. Close friends: one working full time and getting her masters, the other, an aspiring boxer trying to overcome his childhood as a ward of the state. I seek to have up to seven subjects.

Through these juxtaposed images, I hope to explore the idea of being inside both physically and mentally. The goal of my paintings is to balance the darkness and frigidity of a winter in Brooklyn, and the sentimental warmth that comes from being in a familiar, safe, place.

Questions to consider:

Why portraits? What is it about portraiture (both in photography and drawn/painted mediums) that attracts both maker and audience alike? Specifically, what is it about having photos of loved ones in an apartment that adds to its warmth? What is it that the picture-maker is seeking to keep forever? To freeze in time? How will the hanging of these paintings recreate a space much like that of a living space adorned with photos of family and friends? How will these portraits confront the viewer not in the posed, “say cheese” sort of way, but in an open, “this is me, this is my human soul, much like yours” way?


Here are a couple of portraits that I've done in a series of preliminary drawings focusing on the individual. I imagine that when the summer ends I'll move onto mood/color studies...

"Candice", blue Prismacolor pencil on paper, 18"x24"

"Erika", charcoal on brown paper, 18"x24"

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