Suggestive, erotic, sensual…I must admit to being attracted to images of couples on the verge…of that kiss and more. I’m working on expanding my black and white portfolio this year, starting with Contact, which I painted from a color photograph. It’s an interesting exercise to paint in color from a black and white image, because it frees you from reliance on the photograph, but I particularly enjoy challenging myself to translate an image in color into the lights and darks and warms and cools running from white to black through a myriad of grays.
I’m a huge fan of black and white movies and have been since I was a kid, when I could stay home from school when I was sick (or occasionally not really sick) and watch the Million Dollar Movie all day. Fred and Ginger, Bogart and Bacall, Hepburn and Tracy, Bette and Joan—I loved them all then and still do, since they’re all featured on Turner Classic Movies these days. Those early filmmakers knew how to create atmosphere with lights and shadows, drama with highlights and lowlights, and that’s exactly what I try to achieve in my black and white paintings.