Three drafts of this piece, with the physical paintings at left, digitally manipulated photo variants at right.
As this painting has evolved, the title has changed from “Can We Listen” to “Can They Listen?”. The finished color palette of the painting (at left) is so “white guys in business suits” that the figures are no longer “we”, but rather “them”. The figures have now come to represent so many of the predominately white male U.S. senators currently in the news.
I did not set out with quite this plan, but I have been listening to the news, and thinking of the Senate Judiciary Committee members as I created the painting. Some all the Republican Senators who will soon vote on Donald Trump’s poorly behaved Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, have climbed onto my “canvas”.
I sketched this piece in water-soluble graphite on board, taking photos of three drafts. I do this for documentation & evaluation, AND because I love the possibilities of digital magic. Often the simpler, rougher sketches are the best basis for digital transformation into new, quite wonderful artworks. These are best online, but can make very good prints also…
I decided to continue with the original, which was pale and ineffective in graphite, and try my hand with acrylic paint. I do use acrylics, but usually work in mixed media, incorporating textures, pieces of prints, etc. such that the paint is a secondary material. Not sure what will happen here!
Of course I am still photographing at every step, and still creating digital versions as I work. The top images are most recent, the images at left are the original photos, and those at right are digitally manipulated.