Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Artistic Flashback Wednesday…

Today’s featured work “Espy” -

"Espy", acrylic on canvas, 42" x 42", circa 2005 was one of those works that began as one thing and then evolved into something else.

Initially, this was to be one of my traditional portrait paintings and not a work with text, large planes of color or drips. While I was applying an initial color glaze to the work, I accidentally used too much purple.

acrylic on canvas
42” x 42”
© 2005 Michael Sprouse All Rights Reserved

The result was garish and very difficult to remove from the work (anyone who has worked with purple pigment can attest to its staying power). While contemplating the now very purple addition to the work and how to take care of it, I suddenly had the concept of rain running down a window pane. Like falling dominoes, my thoughts went back to a wonderful old brownstone in DC that I lived in many years ago that had spectacular and original stained glass from the 1890's. When it would rain, the patterns and the colors that would form on the walls during the process were quite impressive.

It was then that I decided to work the painting with a backstory of a young woman staring through a stained glass pane of a doorway during a rainstorm. She is intently watching someone or something and she is lost in a flood of memories which are represented by the journal entries that have been superimposed over the portrait. The dripping is symbolic not only of the rain, but of the passing of time and the mutable nature of memory.

This work was sold to a private collector out of The Arts Company in Nashville, Tennessee.

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