My big troubled artist secret is my struggle between my loves of both classical representational art and funky, whimsical, modern mixed media work. The two sitting next to each other look as if they are from two different worlds. My business personality has changed back and forth over the years as I decide to focus more on one or the other. Lately, however, I have decided to include both. They both represent me. Splattering colorful paint and adding wings to a simple portrait is a fun, energizing, quick art fix. Spending weeks on a complicated classical still life with layer after layer of glazes is deeply satisfying in a different way.
I finished this painting a few weeks ago. It was my first attempt at a master's copy... a painting made after one by a master painting. It is 18x24 inches on canvas done in acrylics. I have been working on adapting acrylics to a more classical style; experimenting with the Flemish technique and using clear glaze layers between color glaze layers to give a more luminescent final appearance. About halfway through the dead layer (a layer done all in gray scale that sits below the color layers) I remembered how much I hate copying. It used to drive me crazy when I was working on my design degree and the assignment would be to reproduce some project exactly. Somehow it did not click in my brain that the same disdain would apply to painting So instead of carrying on trying to make as a close a copy as possible I decided to pretend I was working from the same reference as Claesz but to paint it my own way. Also, realizing I was going to use a lot of opaque colors I stopped working on the dead layer and went straight to color.
I am super happy with how the finished painting came out. Right now it is hanging on the wall in the room where my oldest son hosts Pathfinder games... thematic art for dungeon delving.