I'm thinking about my next paintings and realizing how much the human figure is getting into my artistic future. More and more I'm moved as never before by the human face and the human body in paintings and sculptures. I was looking at the blog of Annie Bissett, a print maker and deeply thoughtful artist, and her latest post made me realize how much I want to dream this same way, over allegories and the human condition, and use the figure in the resulting artwork. The Pagan Sphinx's series called The Friday Evening Nudes (more examples here, here, and here) has something to do with it, too. And so do my self portraits, where I get lost for a while in the complexity of a human face.
And then I went back to our photos of a weekend trip to VA Beach (two weekends ago - it seems like months ago...) and I was knocked out all over again by two artworks we saw on that trip. One is this Tiffany stained glass window in Saint Paul's church in Norfolk (the only structure in the city that survived the Revolutionary War - the British destroyed every other building). The church community's symbol is the phoenix - up from the ashes - and this window is of the three women at the tomb - the ultimate phoenix story. The way the light is handled in this, and the women's faces, poses, the relative ages of them, all so poignant and beautifully rendered and in glass. I think it's hard to do this in paint! Click on the image to see it closer.
And up top is the huge and powerful bronze of Neptune on the VA Beach boardwalk. We stayed three hotels down from this, and it drew me like a magnet when we got down on the boardwalk. In late afternoon light it's magnificent. This is a recent work, 2005, by a VA Beach based artist, Paul DiPasquale. I'm so glad I got to see it. And there is plenty of humor and fun in the animals all around it. Octopi, in particular, feature prominently, and they are rendered with more care, to my eye, than anything else on the sculpture.
So I've got to quit my on-line stuff now and jump into my next paintings. One from that list on the back of my figure card, and one with something figurative.