The Watchers (24x32) o/c
This is a new piece that will be included in my upcoming solo show opening this August at Maxwell Alexander Gallery in Los Angeles. Most ideas like this one start as a thumbnail doodle in my sketchbook where I jot down ideas from imagination, or from something inspired by real life (as was this one from my last trip to the desert earlier this year)...
(Original sketchbook thumbnail)
In this case it was a scene I imagined of trackers, bounty hunters revolutionaries...or? The main idea was whatever these guys are doing, it is punctuated by the rising moon and diminishing daylight -- contemplation of a trail gone cold perhaps...
After I settled on the composition, I had a friend dress up and model for both figures, and I used reference from several plein air paintings I had done on site in the Anza Borrego desert not far from the Mexican border. I also like the element of mystery, not just from the early evening atmosphere, but from the figures facing away from us (and ones head being cropped off) that keep them anonymous and perhaps a little more vague as to their intentions.
(colour sketch 8x10)
The paintings I like by other artists (and what I hope to achieve in my own) are the ones that give you a start to a narrative that the viewer has to complete; this gets the viewer involved on a more personal level even if they know nothing of the people in the picture.
(Another sketchbook thumbnail)
If a painting can be effective as not just a nice visual, but as a story telling (or "story starting" device) then you've accomplished something that makes the art twice as interesting...and I think people enjoy that a little bit more~