Blacksmith Fire 18 x 22
A friend and amazing photographer took a picture of a blacksmith at the living Historic museum on Fort Bliss. I loved the image so much that I turned it into a Paper-Cutstruction, with some modifications in the composition and colors. Paper-Cutstructions are 3 -dimensional, and every shapes is cut or torn paper of every kind.
Artist Alone in Green 25 x 30
I saw a picture of this bearded figure in an Ad for something or other. It seemed to me to be an artist, and just a little autobiographical. I had taken my (Middle School) art students downtown to draw after we visited the Art Museum. I got a good drawing of a man under a tree on a park bench. I put this image in the background behind a window frame, and made a flower-stem pattern flow all over the piece. The border is black paper with little newspaper clippings floating throughout, and I liked the juxtaposition of the floating clippings and the flowing flower-stems.
I only did 2 pieces of art for the first half of the year. The rest of the year, I concentrated on my dream job, I was contracted by an organization based in New York to illustrate the Bible—both Old Testament and New Testament, some 60 illustrations over a 3-4 year period.
They flew me to Syracuse New York where I was privileged to be tutored by Jerome Witkin, one of America’s premier Narrative, figurative painters, and Professor of Fine Arts in Syracuse University. I am not exaggerating when I say his awesome critique and teaching caused me to start my Art over from scratch, and my work shot up some 30 to 40%. I worked extremely hard for a week, staying up very late, making models, manipulating light sources, revising illustrations I had already done, making comps and illustrations and drawings and shooting photography.
I traveled all over the Northeast by planes, trains and automobiles on this summer trip. I had a lot of time to think about what I had learned from Witkin, and try to assimilate it into my work.
Sometime in the middle of the night, on the train from Philly to NYC, we crossed over the Hudson river into Manhattan. I did this self-portrait, staring into the window, bleary-eyed, and buzzing from exhaustion. I made sure that it had the “magic circle of light” taught to me by Jerome Witkin. This felt to me like a drawing that the artist Whistler might have made.