Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.
I have been thinking about some of the great artists over the past couple of days in response to this question. I consider Edgar Degas to be the greatest pastelist of all time and being a pastelist myself I thought I would start with him.
Degas required a medium lending itself to precision line-work as do I. Although he took part in the Impressionist exhibitions, he felt he had little in common with that group of artists. I have attempted my own version of “impressionism” but it does not feel comfortable, so I can relate to this. He preferred working in his studio rather than plein air, something else we have in common. The originality of his work was his ability to solve problems of form and movement and he made numerous studies to work out original compositions and color harmonies in his studio. I work to do the same type studies with the aide of a camera. A notable similarity purely by accident is cutting the picture off unexpectedly. Degas’ works gained a more convincing effect of reality with a scanting line of sight that led the eye up or down into the composition. I work to do the same by uniquely cropping to gain the same type of visual effect. The impression of depth is thereby sharpened and takes on an accent of reality. We share the same sense of “blocking”; he with his charcoal stick and I with my bunt stick dipped in remnants of color. He applied his pastels, working back over the layer by scoring it with successive hatchings. Doing this several times, running strokes together and juxtaposing them so as to get a whole mosaic of interwoven tones. And although I do not use a hatch mark, I begin with a single layer and build on it each time in order to transform the painting surface into a haze of color vibrations.
As a photorealist, I would love to be compared to Audrey Flack. Audrey Flack is an American painter, printmaker, and sculptor, who is widely regarded for her innovative contributions to the Photorealist and feminist movements of the late twentieth century. While her early work included abstract motifs, Flack achieved international recognition for her incredibly detailed paintings of still-life compositions and her monumental sculptures of mythical and divine female figures. A great deal of my work involves women, which I believe reflects my grounded sense of strength in the eloquence of the female gender. As they have always said, "behind every great man is an even greater woman." For God placed upon women the responsibilities of compassion, inspiration and support. And I find that women are better in recognizing expression of emotions, the very thing I am hoping to invoke. In her later years, Audrey drew upon the strengths of women as well and developed a true visual on the empowerment of such.
Finally in regards to the contemporary use of soft pastels, I would like to be compared to Mark Leach. Although I am very much a realist in comparison to his abstract views, his use of color to convey emotional responses is the very same goal I have in my work. In fact, all three of my choices had the same goal. Provide an emotional journey for every viewer.