Archive for February 17th, 2011

I first painted one these faces back in 1995 when they became what I call my Exile series.  They were painted in very much the way I paint some of my landscapes, starting with one block of color and letting that block dictate what the next will be.  I had no reference points to work from, just letting the image grow on its own and for much of the time when I was painting these I had no idea how the face would emerge.  Often, they completely surprised me.

This 12″ square canvas was my first new Exile piece since that time and it took a while to reengage.  The originals were painted from a very emotional personal standpoint and  I am in a different emotional place now, sixteen years later.  But after I haltingly began there came a point where it began to take hold and pull out its own emotion, with which I began to empathetically identify.

Call it an existential melancholy.

I see some of these figures in that way, alienated from their past and haunted by memories.  They are, in a way, prisoners of their own experience, trapped in a moment long gone and never to be seen again.  Not all of them, but many, fall into this category.

I’ve been wanting to restart the Exiles series for some time.  To what end, I can’t say.  I don’t know if I will show these anywhere but here.  I don’t know if they would want to venture from the safe haven I offer them here. 

We’ll see.

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