Thursday, February 14, 2013

Latest watercolor, "Finding Solace"

When I paint from a reference photo, there is one thing I try to keep in mind throughout the process: What is the story I want to tell? It doesn't need to be a literal story; it can also be a mood, feeling or emotion. 
In the case of "Finding Solace", I snapped a quick photo of this man in San Francisco. What drew me to him was was his expression; he looks as if he has lived a long, weary life. I started thinking about where he might have lived as a young man. For some reason, I thought of Eastern Europe. From there, I imagined a dreary, urban scene, not the colorful background in the actual photo. Then I found this image of a fence with snow on it and I knew I had my story.
It's up the the viewer to add their own ideas of what this painting might say to them. Who is this man and where is he? What does the fence signify? Is it literal or symbolic?
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