“Where do you get your ideas?” is a frequent question I am asked. For this next painting – featuring the hands posing to hold a camera – the idea sparked from having a vertebrae in my studio while completing a commissioned hand portrait of a chiropractor. See my post demonstrating another painting of hands.
I found this facsimile of a vertebrae fascinating. While in my possession I took over 30 photographs of it with a variety of light sources and at many different angles. I kept asking myself, “How could I incorporate this into a painting?” For my upcoming two-person exhibition in May, entitled “Beyond the Surface,” I wanted to compose a painting using it within a composition.
Because of its complex shape and spokes, it reminded me of a gear and then ultimately, I thought it could be held like it was a camera. Many years ago, I completed a pencil drawing of my hands operating a camera. Off I went to my photo storage and, fortunately, found the many photographs I have. You can see a few here.
Then it became a drawing exercise of manipulating the vertebrae image so that it appeared to be positioned within the hands as if it were a camera.
Meanwhile, I have longed to include the gears of a clock into a painting. There is something about their variety, rhythm and delicacy, as well as symbolism, that intrigues me. Recently, I had taken apart an old table clock giving me ready access to actual examples. I also used a favorite resource of mine – the internet – to find images of clock gears.
Once I decided on the size of panel I wanted to use – 18 x 24 – I then created a sketch, as seen below, to fit that proportion. I use the grid system to transfer a sketch onto my painting substrate.