Here & There, acrylic on canvas, 24" x 30" x 1 1/2"
'Here & There' was recently exhibited during the On & Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour at Rey Garza Real Estate. The painting, like many of my works this semester, began as a class demonstration. I was teaching composition techniques and the importance of blocking out the image to quickly realize the layout, colors, etc. I also talked to my advanced painting class about developing content and symbolism, by discussing my own work. As the weeks passed, I brought the painting back periodically to talk about the changes in composition, content, and different techniques I used (such as glazing) to help inspire them.
Originally, there were only two birds in the image. However, they seemed lonely, the opposite feeling I wanted to communicate. I began this painting shortly after the new year, which followed the first Christmas that I didn't spend with my brothers and parents (though my in-laws and brothers-in-law were here, which was wonderful). With my parents back in Ohio, a brother in Alabama and another in South Carolina, I realized it would be quite some time before we could all be together again, so I developed this painting with them in mind. The two birds at the top of the scene represent my parents, while the birds at the base are my brothers and myself. The warm background contains a pattern derived from the wallpaper in the home of my late friend Marge, a place where I always felt welcomed and loved. Scroll down to see images of the work in progress.
On the left, additional birds have been chalked in. I drew from grackles, an ever present bird here in Texas, but altered the forms and colors to make them softer and more inviting. They aided in the composition, creating implied line, and helped to better express the content of family and togetherness. Of all my recent works, this one went through the most compositional changes. As I continued to paint, the colors shifted to create more contrast, highlights were placed and finishing touches were added in glazing. Come see it during my exhibition with Steven on May 16th, 11-4 at Rey Garza Real Estate, 2722 N. Zarzamora.