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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Working Towards a Dream

Two pieces from this week's work towards my science-fiction/fantasy portfolio - "The Witch's Hair" and "A Prayer Before Battle."  When I was apprenticed to Sterling Hundley he used to constantly tell me to think of myself as a designer - he said that was my strong point.  But I didn't want to be a designer - I wanted to be a painter, a mark-maker, an illustrator!  I just couldn't see what he was saying.  With this period of sustained effort on a body of work I feel that I'm really beginning to understand what he was trying to teach me.  The "how" of the piece, the completion of it, the mark-making, are secondary to the composition, the design of it.  They are this year's clothes hanging on the bones and flesh.  Next year, maybe even next week, the manner in which I make the piece may change, but the design, the flesh and bones, will always mark it as mine.

I've also tried with this body of work to open myself up to my dreams and daydreams (and occasionally nightmares) to mine for the substance of the pieces.  My education as a fiction writer (I have a degree in English: Creative Writing, and dropped out of art school) is informing a lot of my process here.  Each piece is a visual short story, and I'm enjoying trying to figure out what I can leave out versus what needs to be left in, trying to find that blurry edge between too concrete and too mysterious.


Vincent Nappi said...

They've all been very well done and very interesting to look at, Jeff. I've been enjoying these images immensely and I can't wait to start seeing your work on the sci-fi and fantasy racks.

I'm interested in reading the rest of these articles you put up. Always great to get a look at the mind behind the picture!

Chris Whetzel said...

I've really enjoyed watching this technique develop!