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06/29/2004: "Theme for new series"
Iíve stated before that I want to get away from my current style subject matter (colorful nudes surrounded by mountains and wildflowers) to try something new. Normally when Iím finished with a body of work, I feel deflated, anticlimactic, and most of all, exhausted. I just want to take a couple months off and regroup.
That isnít the case this time at all. I feel completely amped up. Iíve come up with some new themes I want to explore, and the first one is something Iíve been thinking about for quite awhile.
I live on Douglas Island, Alaska on what was once a large community built during the Gold Rush around an historic claim called the Treadwell Mine. Now there are trails that wind in and around the old settlement, ruins of buildings, foundations, lots of old mining equipment rusting away in the rainforest, everything overgrown with moss and lichenÖ
Itís a very mysterious and almost spooky place to wander. Iíve taken lots of photos out there and Iím going to make it the location for my next body of work. Iíd still like to incorporate figures into the paintings, but men and women and possibly children this time. Iím going to paint the figures faded, sepia toned, like old photographs. Iím going to have the men with mustaches and women with hair and clothing fashioned from that time period (around 1917 there was a terrible cave-in that forced the mine to close). Iím going to look off old photographs from the time period located in the http://vilda.alaska.edu/Ē> Alaska Digital Archive not to copy but for inspiration.
Iím going to have these characters, sitting among the ruins, doing what they might have done nearly a hundred years ago. Mending laundry, playing a fiddle, rolling a cigarette, sneaking a kissÖeach painting will have anywhere from one to three people in it. Although the figures will be painted like faded ghosts, the images from the ruined buildings and mining equipment will be painted as is, in the bright colors of the rainforest.
I may experiment with doing the scenes in oil, and then adding the figures as a collage elementÖincorporate old cloth, lace, other slim objects, like building up a collographic plate in printmaking. That will be the fun experimental bit.
I can see how the images will look already in my head and I think they will be pretty interesting. I canít wait to get started on them. What do you think?