I have been working on some larger pieces again. The two shown above are pieces I had started on back in September but had stopped working on as I was unsure of where to go after working on them for some time. They have been sitting waiting for me to pick up again and last week I thought I would do just that.
When I began these paintings I was thinking of the figures in the work as static figures, resting figures, and was trying to portray these as such. The model looked very relaxed as she sat in each pose. I used that sense of relaxed stillness she portrayed as my starting point to develop the emotional dialog between viewer and figure. I worked to a point where I felt I could not work on the paintings anymore, I felt they were successful at conveying this stillness but something felt terribly wrong. I think that it was this desire to portray this stillness that was my problem.
Though these two figures are siting in positions that seem calm, or reflective, I decided that how I view and understand these two paintings is not. There has been a tension between me and the paintings and I have felt it as I work on them. I don't really know why this tension is there, but I feel it each time I approach these two. I decided that this tension is part of these paintings and I need to convey this in the work. Currently, I am inserting the friction that I feel into the work by breaking away from my normal anchors I key in on to add some more anxious and chaotic elements.
Both paintings are oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches.