After a certain point I wanted to get a bit away from figure painting and focus more on the abstract and landscapes.
Red was painted over a really terrible painting I’d made my sophomore year of college. It was yellow and red and green and gross with these weird bits of texture that didn’t fit at all with the painting. So I painted over it. With the same colors but way better.
I was really into Ray Bradbury when I did this painting. My SciFi class had recently finished reading The Martian Chronicles and that helped inform this painting. Maybe the red orb is Mars, maybe the golden foreground is Mars instead. I wanted to communicate a confusing and perhaps vague landscape. The Martian Chronicles is full of vague and seemingly contradictory stories that have you engaged until the end and I wanted this painting to express some of that intrigue.
I think the texture left over from the old painting helps with this. It doesn’t quite seem like it fits, but at the same time it adds to the foreground and the background in an interesting way.
I think I’ve alluded to it before in the captions for my paintings and on my home page, but I have yet to really describe what I mean by recycling canvases. My dad actually started it. I had really gotten into painting my sophomore year of college and my family thought that was pretty cool.
My family is also really into garage saling. At garage sales, people are almost always selling old framed art or weird abstract mass-produced paintings. One day while perusing at a house, my dad found three canvases that he thought would be perfect for me. So he bought them for like $5.
At first I was a bit skeptical, but a canvas is a canvas and there’s this great stuff called gesso that can cover just about anything. So after my dad’s first idea I started buying random canvases and paintings for super cheap at garage sales instead of the regular $25+ at regular stores.
I also started painting over my old paintings that I was never really satisfied with. Sometimes I just add new paint over the old paint, and other times I gesso it first to hide particularly horrendous works. But each time I end up with something I liked better than before. Plus it’s cheap and environmentally friendly. So I like that a lot, too.
Red is one of canvases I simply covered with new paint because I wanted to keep the original texture. While it’s not as abstract as my more recent work, this painting represented a shift in my focus. Don’t get me wrong, I still paint figures in my works but my focus isn’t just about communicating feelings with recognizable figures anymore.