Monday, February 9, 2015

What Made You Paint That Picture???

What made you paint that picture??? It's a question I am often asked. As an artist, I am known for my colorful treatment of landscapes, and street-scapes. But every once in a while there is something that just grabs my attention. Something different from my usual subject matter.

In the case of these two images "Golden Moment" and "Dale" it was the reflection in the goggles and sunglasses that first caught my attention. Both paintings were based on newspaper photos. In the image "Dale" (the late Dale Earnhardt) the crowd around him is reflected in his sunglasses. The newspaper photo showed a portrait of a man easily recognizable due to his fame. But instead of seeing his eyes we see reflected in his sunglasses, the people surrounding him.  His face is in repose, and all the action is in the sunglasses. In transferring this idea to a painting I placed just the most important elements of Dale's face against an abstract, rather splotchy, watercolor background. The face and sunglasses were done with colored pencil. The active background provided balance to the action in the sunglasses and completed the idea of the man in the midst of a crowd.

"Golden Moment" is based on a photo of Lindsey Vonn's 2010 Olympic triumph. Again I was intrigued by reflections…this time in ski goggles. Lindsey's goggles reflected all sorts of great colors and her Olympic ski race suit and helmet were just as dynamic. I wanted to capture the idea of a cheering crowd around her but didn't want to add that to the painting. Instead I placed my image on a bright orange background to contrast nicely with the various shades of blue in the ski race suit. Complementary colors (colors opposite each other on the color wheel, like blue and orange) always add a dynamic element to a painting when placed next to each other. The snow flying up all around her adds excitement and action to the picture. Her smile and body language show triumph.
The cheering crowd is implied.

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