Over the last three years I've come to accept a few things:
1. Techniques are great but on their own they do not make a painting.
2. Having a message is a start but the execution of the message from point A to point B is crucial!
3. The message that you wish to convey must be done with enthusiasm and a strong conviction to tell your story. On the flip side of that, think about it, if you work when you're bored and out of it then your end result will end up in the manner.
A New Portrait!
So as I went through my Iraq War Journals I thought about the things that aggravated me and the ideas that sparked interest long ago but later died out. I found in my personal Journal (IV - Kirkuk, Iraq 2003) that I had a lot of resentment towards our leadership. The passage really illustrates my frustration with the way things were being done. I could spend all giving examples but lets not.
As I finished reading through the passage I thought about everything thathas transpired over the last three years since leaving Iraq. I thought about the presidency and the leadership change since then and as I started researching more I became inspired to do a piece on one of the War-time leaders. Now ironically I am not one of these raging liberals who hate Bush - I think he has a pretty bad life from here on out and I am not going to be one in a million trying to pin him down even more and a lot of those works are starting to become cliche. So I opted to do the man who I thought was really responsible for a lot of the problems in Iraq. In this case I did a portrait of:
DONALD RUMSFELD 30 x 40 inches Acrylic and Paper on Canvas
Yes the infamous Donald Rumsfeld, aka Architect of the Iraq War. I recall in 2004 his smug remark about how "You don't go to war with what you want, you go with what you have." Now the original quote had the army in it but with limited space the wording was condensed.
But in this painting we have techniques I learned about before and never used until now, this includes: fingerprinting, drip painting and paper mache.
I used old headlines to help throw his statement back in his face and these are from creditable sourse and top magazines. I also utilized a finger print method where each one represents 4 servicemembers who died in Iraq and there are close to 1200 fingerprints on this canvas. The drip painting is to help indicate a bloody warzone feel.
When the viewers look onto this piece I hope that they will experience my own angers and frustrations. I read of stories where a father spent $10,000 on his son's body armor to make sure that his stayed. I find it sad that we're willing to go attack a country but we inadequate supplies to keep our troops safe!