This is a kind of hybrid between abstraction and representation/figuration. The forms and shading suggest real shapes, but I’ve steadfastly refused to articulate any recognizable imagery. This way it evokes imagery without dictating it, and if you look at it long enough, however, forms will appear, and relationships between them. You might see birds, reptiles, chimeras, gadgets, instruments, and of course people. What you see is up to your own imagination and psychology. I tried to make ripe pickings for hallucinations. It would be interesting to compare what sorts of things different people see, much like a Rorschach test. Do you see violent things, sexual things, nature, aliens, gardens, reptiles and amphibians, bones, torture devices, delicate instruments, contraptions, humor, horror, love, carnivorous plants…? I think it can evoke all those things, and what you see may be very different from what someone else sees. You’re not meant to see it only as it appears in the first few seconds. Your eye will compel you to find imagery in it because it looks like it should be recognizable.
This image has a highly tuned (but not perfect) composition, as every piece or element in it functions off of everything else, and in relation to it. This is why people compare abstract paintings to instrumental music. And this kind of hybrid abstraction seems to allow a greater level of composing than does, say, drip painting, because you can use shapes, lighting and shading, foreground and background, and thus get away from that “all over” look that a lot of abstraction gets (y’know, Jackson Pollock, or even de Kooning).
The title just has to do with the image looking a bit like a Hieronymus Bosch painting. It’s really because of the forms. Some people might see that without my mentioning it, and it wasn’t intentional. Here’s a detail of his amazing, “Garden Of Earthly Delights”:
I just noticed it’s got a bit of Escher about it, too.
Here are a couple details at actual pixels. Here you can see this is a digital drawing, and not some filter magic – it’s all drawn with a stylus and tablet. Every square inch has been drawn over multiple times.
Those are zoomed in 100%, which is more up close than one would normally go, so here’s a few more details, but not at 100%.
For the people who stubbornly reject anything digital, I used a similar approach to create some small ink drawings, below:
The ink drawings are fun because you get one shot. There’s no erasing, or undoing. I’d do more of those by I actually can’t find India ink where I live.
Like many of my pieces, this started out as an experiment, and then it started to show some promise, and so I thought it was worth completing. I used techniques I’m using in other pieces which are in process (four of them), such as (digital) airbrushing and blending, dodging and burning, and going back and forth with light versus dark. This is a departure from my custom digital impasto techniques I usually use, but in a couple of the pieces coming up you will see me combine these two methods. That’s the point of experimenting and not knocking out a series in a given style: I can combine techniques and approaches to come up with new varieties of images.
I always want to find a new image. So I don’t want to repeat myself. This is why it’s very difficult for me to work on a series, y’know, like Monet’s wonderful haystacks. If you look at my portfolio, it’s not a bunch of variations on one theme. I don’t even know what I’ll do next, even when I have a list of things I intend to do. If something interesting comes out of nowhere, I’ll do that first.
If you like this kind of tightrope act between figuration and abstraction, which almost looks like you’re peering into some other dimension, “Sunshine Superman Selfie” is a color version. Overall there’s the semblance of a head, but when you look closer it’s just all mysterious objects.
I’m hoping to knock out at least 3 more pieces this month. Last month I started several, and now I’m going to try to finish them.
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