In the Works: The Wanderer

Taking The Wanderer from the textured canvas of the last post to the finished painting above required multiple layers of paint and a relaxed wrist. While the composition itself is quite structured, I wanted the brushstrokes themselves to seem loose and spontaneous, creating a kind of thought portrait. The idea for this painting arose from a recent drive around the UAH campus (which I realized I have been haunting in some form or another since 2003) during which I was enjoying the day, the trees, the turn of the roads, and thinking of my wanderings and musings, my strong leanings toward classical intellectualism, reason, and order-- traits which many consider to be somehow opposed to artistic expression, though I find far more artistic inspiration and even passion in reason than in undisciplined emotion. The Wanderer is a flight of fancy and an exploration of memory, a multi-layered and heavily textured image which, rather like nature, is both wildly organic and strictly methodical at the same time.
I used some of the white areas left on the canvas by wax as delineations for the figure and her fancy collar [above], just as rivers can influence the outlines of states and nations.
In other parts of the painting, the original wax drip image shows faintly through thin layers of watery paint [above] or creates inconsistencies in texture and small bubbles underneath the design [above and below].

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