Studies from the Studio – Study for ‘Portrait of a Tree’, and an early gouache painting for a planned silkscreen print

Studies from the Studio - Study for 'Portrait of a Tree', and an early gouache painting for a planned silkscreen print

These are some rough drawings and gouache sketches that I’m working on for pieces for the Walden exhibit at Walden Pond in January. I’m particularly excited to see the study of the pine tree; my plan is to create at least 2 screen prints in Japanese woodblock style that reflect details of life at the pond.

“Sleepwalkers on Tokyo Street”, 36 inches x 48 inches, oil on canvas, 2013

This painting is a recent completed piece, continuing my interest in the human face and the mask. In this case, figures are emerging (or dissolving?) into a dream world, something that reminds me a bit of Odilion Redon’s portraits. These figures are becoming lost in the thoughts or dreams around them, to the point that plants are starting to sprout from around their bodies. Despite this, I felt that they are not isolated, but rather caught in the midst of a bustling city. There are contradictory forces at work here that I’m exploring. When is sleep not restful? Can we be stuck and in motion at the same time?

And this is what it was, how it has evolved (‘Portrait of a Tree’, much earlier version) May, 2013)

And this is what it was, how it has evolved ('Portrait of a Tree', much earlier version) May, 2013)

This is a much earlier state of the painting ‘Portrait of a Tree’, from sometime in May of 2013. At this point it was little more than a charcoal sketch on a stretched canvas with oil washes over it. People have told me in the past that I use oil much more like watercolor, which is intriguing to see in this context.