Friday, September 26, 2008


Ancestor 4

Acrylic on board, 7" x 5"
$125.00 + $6.00 shipping in US.
Available for purchase starting 09/26/08, 12 noon PST

After painting in this patriarchal character, something made me want to mask the eyes. Maybe it was the intensity of the gaze. The horizontal brushstroke created a different kind of tension that I liked, so I left it.

4 comments:

Sheila Vaughan said...

Another great one Don. I thought at first someone had some time ago kept the picture in the album in place with a piece of sellotape and you had decided to replicate that. I love the way you are handling the acrylics too. That brush stroke would have been pretty hard to do in oils I think - at this stage anyway. I started off with this series not being at all sure I liked the first one and then by the third I realised I was hooked! I'll shut up now and go and paint!

silvina said...

Very interesting what you're doing with these vintage photos. It seems they've given you a renewal on your 'artistic license'.
I like the abstract feel of those beautiful colors that are behind him and seem to envelope his head. And I'm really liking the sheer band across his eyes. To me it says his soul isn't there anymore.
Really good work! I love it.

Don Gray said...

Sheila, I appreciate hearing from you. Thanks for your comments on the acrylic handling. I've always admired your fluent use of acrylics--don't know anyone else who can get quite the look you do from them.

With its different stylistic and philosophical approach, I knew this series would be a bit controversial for some people. Those who know my work well would not be surprised though--I've had parallel bodies of work going for many years.

I'm pleased that you had to spend some time and thought with these to determine how you felt. Instant likability is not always a virtue.

Don Gray said...

I do enjoy the open-ended nature of working with this series, Silvina. Not having a clear destination in mind when painting can be so liberating.

Interesting thought..."his soul isn't there." I think you're on to something. It was an impulsive gesture to veil the eyes, but it was definitely a reaction to the stern, dominating gaze. It was also born out of a desire to make clear these are not to be taken as literal portraits.

Thanks for commenting.