Having taken a reprieve from the subtropical rains and heat of southern China, I feel a renewed clarity in my head: I've been able to envision some goals for the next year. Not only did the impeccable southern California sunny days charge me with a sense of optimism, but also an unexpected road trip from Utah to Washington DC allowed me the time to contemplate the natural beauty of the world's landscapes in silent awe.
I fell in love with the contrast on the wings of butterflies of Tennessee. The large mesa cliffs that seem to drip upwards into the sky in Utah. The shift from darkness to light stretching across endless horizons helped me appreciate the movement and extension of shadows. Even the overlapping, curved shapes of light created by the solar eclipse I saw my last day in Virginia... unreal.
As a person and an artist, I have found it invaluable to be able to take a step outside of the studio and just breathe. I believe humans, just like the moon, join in the ebbs and flows of life and inevitably are always in a limbo somewhere between two extremes. Like a pendulum. In the vacuum of observation, in the void, creative ideas may sometimes be found.
I am particularly excited to create less "literal" portraits and subjects in the next dozen pieces. I realized during the creation of several commissions done over the last 6 months may have served to refine my technique and strategy, but it makes me want to be more interpretive in the future. Leaving things to the imagination rather than represent so "exact" a portrait.
This time around, I have collected some friends' portraits for references and will choose to develop only the most dynamic "chunks" of the face or body. I want to leave something to the imagination of the audience (or a little bit "askew") so that it may be more intriguing... frustrating... or even more importantly: engaging.
I hope that in this way, the "vacuum" of the bare canvas somehow feels buoyed or elevated from the heavier black ink .. That it makes the contrasting lines float or embed themselves deep beyond the flat,white surface.
But, before I go to far with this.. I will stop writing. Like trying to describe a color to someone who can't see, or jazz to someone who will never hear it, it is quite a futile endeavour to explain what's in my head. Better to just show you. If you don't hear from me during the next months, that's a veryyyy good thing.