I painted this retro-duck model with a black background initially, and it looked stunning. Stunning wasn’t enough. Every time I looked at it I loved the smooth technicality of the painting, but my imaginative inner voice kept asking what the duck was looking at, and where he was going.
I had been studying the paintings and method of Odd Nerdrum during that time, so it wasn’t long before the duck found himself and his environs sanded, scraped and repainted with layer upon layer over many months. This was a slowly evolving painting as each layer added depth and color to what had been a beautiful silky black with a lovely depth of color of its own.
Do I like it this way more? Yes, because I adore the complex and mysterious creatures and the depth of their swimming area. I get excited every time I look at them, and want to dive in and paint more. No, because I miss the stunning black.
The solution, as always, is to paint more. I’m very happy that I went on this painting adventure. I always try to push myself beyond what I know, as I enjoy the adventure of discovery. With that, I leave you to wondering about why the pomegranate and turnip are with the duck. I’d love to know what you think.
This painting was juried into the 43rd Annual Open Juried Exhibition of the Laurel Art Guild. The exhibit opens to the public on March 4, at Montpelier Arts Center, in Laurel, Maryland. The reception and awards ceremony will be from 2-4 PM.