The “Head in a Box” theme is one that has recurred for me over and over for years. However, it wasn’t until recently that I started to understand what I was trying to say with it. The head in a box or framed is my way of depicting our attachment to ego and/or form. The thinking “self” inside, belief systems, mental chatter.
In this image, the head (after da Vinci’s St. John) and hands were done in a verdaccio green underpainting like I usually do, but instead of covering all of the figure form with flesh, I decided to only use the fleshtones where it intersected with the life of the branch. Because the figure holds a branch and is aware of the life in it and himself, I chose to call the painting Conscious of Consciousness.
I used this painting to become more familiar with Leonardo da Vinci’s techniques and the way he used visual illusions to sculpt form. It was created on a gessoed board which proved to be challenging for me. The gesso was more absorbent than I was accustomed to and it made it difficult to blend the paint the way I prefer. However, the outcome was a more ‘staccato’ look to the overall image and a more painterly feel. I considered continuing to work on the image until the paint had a smoother appearance but, not knowing how long that would take, I opted to take what I had learned and move on to the next painting instead. ...Detail included.
Consious of Consiousness
Oil on Panel, 40" x 30"