Ceci n’est pas une jeune femme

Here are the latest works from my ongoing film still series of paintings. This work departed from the ideas of metaphorical imagery and just became portraits of pretty girls in bright clothing. The expressions of loss and confusion are still present in the figures but it would be a stretch to connect their situations with my own. I borrow imagery from Star Trek: the original series because I am drawn to the dress/hair styles and saturated colors. In the end, these works became paintings about painting.

There are some clumsy references to Wayne Thiebaud in these works. I was happy that people caught these stylistic choices before they asked me the inevitable “what’s that from?”. After looking at Thiebaud’s works more closely, I realized I don’t even come close to painting as well as he does. There is  more logic in his color choices and he’s fearless with intense color. I wouldn’t dare paint a huge glob of bright orange into woman’s face! Perhaps it’s better that I avoided full imitation. I’m glad that these paintings still look like mine.

To keep with the theme of customized formats in the film series, I built a few shaped canvases to accommodate the figure. I saw many eight-sided format portraits in the Splendors of Faith/ Scars of Conquest exhibit at the Oakland Museum last year. The octagon is also the standard format for all the paper, books and frames in the world of Battlestar Galactica. When watching BSG, I was intrigued by how such a funky shape could be the norm.

This hexagonal piece is the latest in the series. Did you know that Teri Garr was 20?!


This was quick practice painting I did after the first couple of portraits were completed. I also used it for cleaning my brushes.

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