Sunday, October 14, 2007

"Away" 2006. Oil on canvas, 13x16 inches.

This painting is significant to me because I painted it at a time where I was in a crossroads in my life. I wasn't really very satisfied with my life and had come to a point where a decision had to be made... the type of decision that takes 9 months to make and you don't realize you're even making it until you look back and realize how far you've travelled from where you started.

This painting is about withdrawing from one world and going into the unknown. The figure is walking away from us, and we can't see her face or what's ahead of her. I'm fascinated with painting people from behind because the first impulse when we see someone from behind is to try to see around to their face. And in this painting I deny the viewer the woman's face, and it creates a tension that pulls them in.

I also wanted to have an element of darkness in this painting. I didn't want to literally paint anything threatening into the image-- but by placing a woman into natural setting there is an implicit quality of vulnerability. Nature is wild and untamed, and dark forests hold the unknown-- the looming possibility of danger. But there is also a regenerative quality to them as well as a spiritual one. I think of this painting as sort of a fairy tale-- the moment our hero embarks on a journey into the unknown.

Because music is very much intertwined with my life and my paintings, I want to include a few songs that were in my head when I made this:

Earlimart - Treble and Tremble, "Tell the Truth, Pts. 1 and 2"
David Kilgour - Frozen Orange, "G Major 7"
Seekonk - For Barbara Lee, "Maps of Egypt"
The Dissociatives - The Dissociatives, "Lifting the Veil from the Braille"
The Shins - Oh, Inverted World, "New Slang"

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