Sunday, August 4, 2013

Isolated States - Completed

I completed Isolated States before leaving for vacation, but with the rush of getting everything together for the trip - I didn't have time to post. This station was in the middle of nowhere just East of Lordsburg, New Mexico. It was a very desolate place and the distance between the sign and the station made me think of how they were two isolated islands in a sea of dirt and gravel.

The last two works have been a little more desolate than the previous ones.  That has a lot to do with the environment and how hot the day was when I went shooting for the source photos. Maybe a little on how I felt that day as well. I start painting these pieces in my mind while photographing them.

I also think that these paintings are portraits of the buildings as living things in themselves. In this case two structures isolated from each other that face the extreme elements of this desolate landscape together, but hundreds of feet apart. In the summer it's hot, in the winter it's cold always windy with hardly any rain. 

The concept of buildings as living entities has been a big part of my work for the last several years and a big part of my return to realism. The first paintings where I returned from abstraction to realism contained buildings. From there I started taking source photos and taught myself to become a better street photographer and my work became more realistic. Of course keeping the abstract and collage elements within them. When I paint buildings I am painting their soul as a living being or the stain left by all those who have inhabited them. When I paint an old hotel or gas station I'm thinking of all the lives that have passed through them. The lover's quarrels and makeups, the family ups and downs, the lonesome travelers who have passed through, the life and times of the ownership and employees, and everything else that could've happened there. I feel the stain of time that haunts these places and while I paint these works I do my best to infuse them with those feelings.