Sunday, June 20, 2010

'Into the Light'.... Modern Contemporary Figurative Abstract Painting by Missouri Artist Elizabeth Chapman

'Into the Light'

Acrylic on 16" x 20" x 1.5" gallery canvas
Palette Knife Painting

Commissioned Sold

I really don't have any way of describing this painting other than it was divinely inspired.   Several months had gone by since having put up a show in the Commissioner's Office here in Springfield, Missouri when Karla contacted me expressing an interest in a commissioned work.  We set up a time to meet all the while believing it was going to be a floral abstract since that was what I had hung there.   Karla was absolutely WONDERFUL to work with as she explained to me what she wanted.  First of all it would be a figurative abstract ( I gulped... I have only done a few of these... see here.) This man on the motorcycle was her husband's brother who she explained to me was more or less like the black sheep in the family and had lost his life in a motorcycle accident several years ago.  She wanted this painting to be something special that she could give to her husband.  Karla had already printed out  several other paintings of mine that showed the color scheme and style she was interested in.  Also, she desired that he be shown moving from the dark into the light.  So many of the decisions had already been made, that all I needed to do was just paint.

I spent several days just observing and studying the photograph to try and pick up a feeling of who this man was.  For example I noted that he wore his watch on his right hand.. so possibly left handed?  How big would I make him?  I decided that since this motorcycle was a very important part of his life, that I wanted it to stand out.. and fill the canvas.  Another desire that I had was for there to be a feeling of movement.  I then started... this was one of those wow paintings for me as it just all began to fall into place.  It felt as if I was a participant as this painting unfolded before my eyes.  

When completed I felt as if I just couldn't take my eyes off of this painting.  I felt as if I suddenly knew this person who had been a stranger to me. The most difficult part of the painting was in working with the face which began with more detail, but I was not happy with it so I scraped my palette knife over the face... and there it was. I liked the feeling of this.... of being in the light.

Into the light... divinely inspired.

Karla, thank you so much!!

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