I painted another portrait of Mike today. Mike is my older brother who is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal. Mike was home during my early childhood, but was institutionalized when I was about 10 years old. Now he is in a geriatric group home. I haven’t seen him in a while but oddly, he still holds much sway over my life and how I look at things.
I set this rendering aside for now, as it is very similar to yesterday’s portrait. I painted it in the style of Alexej von Jawlensky, by using bold patches of colors. I tried to determine a rationale for the colors I chose for the Abstract Portrait, but ultimately opted for the same palette that Jawlensky used. Kandinsky had theories about color associations with shape (Concerning the Spiritual in Art); my readings about Jawlensky indicated that he used color intuitively.
Today’s watercolor experiment:
I thought it only fair that, given my artistic treatment of my brother, I should paint myself with the same brush. I took a full-face selfie this morning and went to work.
When I used to visit Mike in his former group home, I would have interesting conversations with his housemates. On several occasions, residents whom I met for the first time asked me, “Are you Mike’s brother?” “Yes,” I replied. “You look exactly alike!” they would each respond.