face 8

This is the “latest” (many years old) out of a series of 50 faces I was trying to make. Perhaps I’ll explain it fully one day, but although it’s rather morbid, it has a lot of personal meaning for me. My goal was 50 but I only got to 8. I made many of these when I last lived in Japan, in the northern part of Tokyo. Here’s one of my favorites that despite trying to make look dead, looks frighteningly alive.

dead face 8

rochester scene

I originally intended to black out some of this one, to show it’s a distant memory that I can’t quite grasp. For some reason, the fields behind my house in the rural suburbs of Rochester, NY, in November and March on a dark day are intensely nostalgic for me. I imagine there being some cold wind in this picture. The forest in the background is rather large in real life, so it’s a little skewed – it would be closer in reality than it is in this painting. This is about 16×20″ or so, oil on canvas.

rochester scene

nothing’s changed for me

Here’s an example today of a piece that took a wrong turn. I loved the initial sketch, even though it was not where I’d intended to go at all. (I was working on a series “50 dead faces” and this is most certainly a bright and living and happy face.)

nothing's changed for me sketch

Then what happened? I went at it with charcoal and a marker, and more pencil, and ended up overworking – the worst. Well, it turned out ok, but just ok. I was more pleased with the initial drawing, although that itself was unfinished and had to be completed into something. Can’t win!

nothing's changed for me

living in an old country

Here’s a process post. I started out with a sketch that was supposed to be part of another series I’m working on (“dead faces” – 50 of them – I’ll explain in the future) but it took on a life of its own. Specifically, I thought it looked a bit like a noh mask.

living in an old country sketch

So I wasn’t sure if I should leave it as-is, not touch it, let it be just in this form. It didn’t seem finished, but I didn’t want to ruin or overwork it. Then I hit on an idea: ink! It turns out I barely had to use any, because the charcoal I did the sketch with reacted so well with the water, but I did it a little. Here’s the result, which I’m extremely happy with.

living in an old country