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This is a painting based on a 4 week pose I did at my school, Georgetown Atelier.
In an Atelier type of education, the student first masters drawing (starting with master copies – copying works of a master artist), then moves on to monochromatic value paintings and then color.
This painting is part of the monochromatic phase of my training.
I name this painting ‘Journey’.
I thought of the idea for the background after the pose was set, so in effect I only chose the angle from which to look at the model and the background, but I did not build this painting from the ground up (from the concept to the pose), rather from the pose to the concept.
To me the atmosphere and meaning of the painting is a mix of tranquility and solitude alongside adversity.
What I had in mind was a man, traveling alone, away from home, facing a crucial decision in his life. He is not afraid of the dark or the journey, but he has to make a very hard, serious decision. He is safe where he is and tranquil, although the quietness of the environment is a contrast to the turmoil in his mind.
Moonlight has a certain meaning and atmosphere to me which is hard to explain. It symbolizes solitude most of all.
I sometimes wonder why sunset and sunrise seem to symbolize eternity, why they have the power to immortalize things in art.
I think the reason is that it is a symbol of the world’s never ending cycle. It’s a relatively brief transition between night and day and precisely because it is a transition it symbolizes eternity – it symbolizes something about the nature of the world – that it is a cycle and that the cycle always repeats.