My watercolors have recently been about the distance between my autistic brother and me. Mike is profoundly retarded, autistic and has never spoken. In addition to the physical distance between us (I’m on the Wes Coast, he’s on the East Coast), there is a communication gap that I have never been able to breach. I developed some icons to use in my ‘Barrier’ paintings (Back to Abstract?, Variation, My Niche, Sketching, Barrier #5 Completed).
The study I prepared for today is still about that barrier, however, I tried something a little different. I am primarily a photographer and have shot many a roll of film of my brother. I posted many of these photos early on in my blog. Some of my photos can be seen in these posts: A Walk with Mike; Those Moments; Mike and Dad; Mike’s Moods; Photography Assignment Revisited; Familiar Relations; My First Show.
I chose one photo today, which I decided to represent in a watercolor. Hopefully I abstracted the most important features of that instant in time pictured below:
Here is the painting based, not only on what the photograph depicts, but the communication gap between us. I suppose there is more than one way to interpret the photograph, but I tried to extract the essence of what I saw and felt for translation into the study below.
I minimized the use of my icons and instead tried to show our separate realms, without too much symbolism.
I think the study succeeds to some degree, but it still needs some work – perhaps some unification in the left half of the picture.