"An artist should never be a prisoner of himself, prisoner of style, prisoner of reputation, prisoner of success, etc."-Henri Matisse
With the GOLD Portrait Paintings a few interests are coming together in their creation. First of all, from 2007-2014 I created a mural featuring a series of historical portraits at the Walter Palmer Leadership and Learning Partners Charter School in Philadelphia. I've painted over 400 4'X3' portraits on this project. Secondly, on a trip to Italy in 2001 I visited the Uffizi Gallery and saw their collection of Pre-Renaissance religious paintings with gold leaf background which left an indelible mark on me. Seeing these works, by Giotto, Cimabue and others in person, revealed the texture and aggressive surface of the gold leaf areas of the paintings. The use of gold also is intriguing to me in the way that it contrasts with the painted figures. The gold acts as a “dark” which contrasts with the light areas and it also reflects light at the same time. Thirdly, my interest in drawing and painting the figure is something that has been with me since my earliest attempts at drawing as a child on the streets of Philadelphia. These interests and influences merge in the creation of these portraits
I'm also doing two series of drawings illustrating scenes from Lewis Carroll's two Alice books. "Alices's Adventures In Wonderland" is the first book completed in 2019. I collected the drawings into a book for sale on Amazon entitled "Alice In Wonderland" I am currently working on the drawings for the second book, "Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There". I expect to complete the book in 2024.