I have been thinking about the little doodles I’ve been drawing during the past few weeks. They are not terribly satisfying. Don’t get me wrong, it is a challenge to have an idea and conjure up some way to express it visually. However, it is like coming up with one-liners. I’m pretty good with puns and jokes (in my opinion), but there is a difference between that type of banter and a conversation. My metaphor is probably a little bit off, but I don’t think it’s off by much.
I started reading a book about the structure of Cézanne’s paintings (Cézanne’s Compositions by Erle Loran), and I really wanted to start working with spatial pictorial elements (spheres, cones, cubes and cylinders).
Today, I tried to ‘model’ the elements of the portrait of my brother Michael (autistic, low functioning and nonverbal) as volumes in space. I know this is the tip of the iceberg of what Cézanne had to say about the organization of shapes, but I thought it was a good place to start.
This portrait is from a photograph I took of Mike at my last visit to his group home. I know I must return to this subject for two reasons: 1) to paint a better portrait; 2) to remember him.