I love a challenge. Keeps me on my toes. Of course, painting is that, always. As well, I’ve been having a great time lately teaching. I’ve had three different places around the Province where I am or did teach recently. Each group is so different.
The most recent group was eager to have homework. I suggested they take a painting (in this case, Manet’s The Dead Toreador), and use it as a takeoff for an abstract painting. The inspiration can come from the composition, the use of color, the essential drama of the painting.
That painting has a lot of resonance for me. I grew up near Washington, D.C. and used to go there on weekends when I was in High School and hang out with my favorite paintings. The Dead Toreador was one of my most favorites. It has so much strength in the silence of the way the dead body lies across the broad expanse of the painting. The strategic use of color, bold composition. I find Manet’s paintings very powerful. Very close to my heart.