After 8 months of buying a new home, selling an old home, packing, unpacking, FINALLY, it’s time to be back in the studio. For my next piece, I’m taking another break from the historical series I’ve been working on. This next piece addresses a contemporary social issue.
I’ve long been uncomfortable with a shift in communication that takes us away from face to face contact, replacing it with texting. Several years ago, I took this photo outside a restaurant, intending to use it for a piece titled “We Don’t Talk Anymore.”
In my day job, teaching high schoolers, I set aside a period of time each week for “Community Building” where we engage in an activity, purely for fun, that requires us to talk with each other. At the start of this school year, I’m aware of how uncomfortable this is for many of my new students. This is the inspiration for a new project.
Instead of the original photo, I’m working from photos I took of my step-daughter, Maya. In the interest of full disclosure, she posed for these photos. They were not candid shots. If she has actually done this to anyone, it hasn’t been me.
With the photo cropped, edited, and printed to size, fabric selection is next. Usually, I choose a set of flesh toned fabrics for each person in my compositions so that they have individual complexions. In this case, with this bold close up of Maya, I’m going to need to establish 3 sets of fabrics just for her. I want to establish her body on 3 different planes: hand in front, face in mid-ground, and upper body in background and in shadow. I’m hoping, by doing this, to pop the hand forward and give real depth and dimension to this piece.
I start by choosing fabrics for the face. It’s in the mid ground so I choose pinkish, red-violet fabrics. For the hand, I choose warmer fabrics in the red-orange range to make them feel closer. Finally, the main body is in cooler, violet fabrics. The cooler temps of these fabrics will push them back. The tricky part will be the arm that transitions from the hand to the body.
Check in next week to see this piece coming together.