Fixing ‘Diver’

Here is a painting currently on my workbench… a ‘work in progress’ but I am growing more interested in how it will turn out. I’m calling it ‘Diver’ for now – the name may change.

diver wip 12 2 15

When I sat down to paint this evening, I wasn’t very optimistic because the above painting looked like this:

stage 1

I don’t like it. Yeah, it’s supposed to be sort of an exaggerated self portrait – I was poking fun at the ‘portrait of the artist as a sensitive person’ and then there is that big old trepanation wound in my skull. Both in terms on content and execution – blech. About the only thing I liked was that little monkey skull sitting on my shoulder. How to rescue this mess?

I went in with white and black paint and began painting right on top of the thing (sorry, this is just a cell phone picture):

stage 2

I think the exposed brain made me think of the alien from “This Island Earth” (see below) but in the painting it morphed into some sort of Darth Vader gas mask type affair. The pathetic little hands reaching up, as if he can’t quite figure out what he is wearing are a nice touch. Finally painted over those awful eyeballs.

This-Island-Earth-001

This Island Earth

stage 3

Orange inside the gas mask/respirator — I’ve had an idea. Hard to see in this picture but I’ve worked in some washed with a pale aqua into the face. About the only part that remains from the original is the ear (which, at this point, I have begun to quite like) and the exposed brain.

diver wip 12 2 15

The respirator has become a furnace grate! The diver must be a passionate man – he burns inside his suit! Of course it’s no where near finished… there is all that space in the background and I am still undecided about the exposed brain, but I’m a lot happier with it now than I was when I first sat down.


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