Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Gas Station Girl


This small squat woman was about seven months pregnant. Sad, arresting image at the time. Not finished [obviously], but still exploring the sweet spot between a thing that feels like a sketch and final art. I think the journalistic sensibility of the sketch is turning out to be a decisive issue, even as I want the the mosaic-tight design presence. Goodbye, Adobe Illustrator...

6 comments:

Bill Koeb said...

I really like it. It is direct and human, simple but deep. I wouldn't touch it and start doing more "unfinished" pieces.

Regards,

Bill

DB Dowd said...

Bill

Thanks for the note. I think "unfinished" is the direction I'm headed--it is tricky to choose the right moment to stop...

John Hendrix said...

Douglas, don't touch this! IT IS DONE.

I love love love this stuff. This is my recent favorite by far.

DB Dowd said...

Fascinating response, and quite valuable, John, especially as it aligns with Bill's above. This piece is more "formal" in its development insofar as it was worked up from a sketch and reference photos on a watercolor block. Not a sketchbook piece. In some passages pretty elaborate, in others, simply filled in according to the paint-by-number notion in my head, or left unpainted or slightly washed. I had considered leaving some of the unpainted areas as they are now, but there are little spots of color and refinement here and there that I would have considered non-negotiable. A few little moments might get a teeny bit more--spots of color on the master card symbol, etc. But I am quite content to stop and learn from it. God knows I've done enough teaching to understand that when people jump up and down and wave their arms at you, they see something you probably don't. Having done the jumping and waving, I thank you for the insight and the emphasis!

Rob Dunlavey said...

db: what's interesting to me in this drawing is how it straddles a number of genres (for lack of a better word). It's an observation that suggests narrative. It's somewhere between editorial and film so I guess that puts it into some sort of journalism bucket.
Based on your other varied output, I would assign this the status of personal reportage of an eyeball in love with the world.

Another thing I really like about his image is how it taps into Blade Runner street-level kind of ideas in the contrast of the man-made details and surfaces (stuff outside, surveillance camera, counter below green window, etc.) and the figure (a workaday prisoner of sorts) encased inside. The color palette has a period (1970-80's) sheen and brightness that is a bit corporate and suffocating (in a good way!) that adds to the allure and repulsion I feel when I contemplate this long enough.

No doubt, I'm projecting a lot here, but this type of picture seems to incorporate a lot of issues that I think are dear to you but is done in a passive yet forceful way. I could go on but I'll leave it at that. --Rob

DB Dowd said...

Rob, what a thoughtful, generous comment! Things are really moving for me, and this image represents a step on the way. Your comment will help put language to it...

Again, many thanks. The "eyeball in love with the world" is totally true, and wonderfully said. I am chewing on the implications that accompany that insight...