Normally this kind of photo, of a work in progress, would go to an area of my site called Sketchbook. I decided this week to eliminate that area. It was intended to discuss works in progress, and it was a great use of the web publishing capabilities of iLife ’08, but I ended up feeling like I was duplicating efforts that are best served here. (If you’d like to see the area in archive, go here.) started the piece above (oil pastel smeared with turpenoid on watercolor paper) over break because I was dying to work in oil pastel again. They are so buttery and rich. It felt great. Last weekend we watched a documentary called “In The Realms of the Unreal.” It is about Henry Darger, a guy who had a traumatic childhood (to put it mildly) then worked as a maintenance man in Chicago hospitals for sixty years. By night he wrote and illustrated a 15,000 page saga about a war involving an army of little girls. It’s often gory and disturbing but also occasionally beautiful and charming. This massive work, as well as an autobiography, were only discovered upon his death by his landlord.
His drawings are traced, collaged, watercolored, redrawn, done in amazing layers. I’ve been inspired by Darger to take another direction with my piece above and try some of those techniques on this piece, using the beautiful Michigan beach as a background.