The core of my work is inspired by portraits and the personalities behind them. I was working on a series of paintings called "The Unknown Musician" which explores music personalities through portraiture when I first met Angel at the ArtCenter/ South Florida in Miami Beach. I remember walking past her studio and being awestruck by her emotionally complex paintings and compositions that reminded me both of Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth. What struck me the most was how she painted her hands in such a bold, expressive manner. They reminded me of many of the German Expressionist paintings that have shaped my development along the way as an artist. I knew I had to get to know her!
So, when faced with the challenge of painting her, I wanted to capture all that I could about her complex personality and incorporate the symbolism and visuals from the series as well. It is always my goal to capture the soul of the subject. I choose to distort the features of the face and focus on the most interesting features of a person. For Angel, it was definitely her eyes and her mouth. She is holding a burning candle which is a very significant image from my work because it symbolizes the core of inspiration and Angel embodies this inspiration in her as she paints.
Her figure is engulfed by a vast landscape with purple flowers close to her, which are not really flowers, but "weeds" as she calls them. In the background you see power lines, an image she often includes in her paintings a symbol of industry. At the top of the painting sits a dream-like scene, where heavy metal rocker Dave Mustaine from Megadeth is serenading her amongst an Impasto backdrop of Vincent van Gogh's "Starry Night". I chose Dave to be her serenader because of his huge influence on Angel as a teen (also a homage to heavy metal). Van Gogh was another huge artistic influence to her painting style and growth as an artist.
These are just a few images from the painting. If you can spot more, don't be shy to leave a comment!
More to come...