Back in the 1970’s, I did a series of “tiled paintings” (what I now refer to as Deconstructed Realism). Principally the idea is to break up a found image through exploring the different media that have traditionally been used to create art. I did three such projects at the time, and was preparing to do a fourth, when my direction in art and in life changed.
However I had already asked a local carpenter to cut twenty five identically sized hardwood blocks for this new project. I had envisioned it as a double sided painting so I asked him to drill a hole exactly down the centre of each panel. I pictured five rows of five panels each that could swirl interactively, front to back, somewhat like an abacus. Well, that was my idea back in the day. Still, I set it all aside, packed up my little blocks and moved out west to explore a new chapter in my life.
Fast forward about thirty years and I finally decided to pull those little blocks out of storage. I still wanted to use them to create a double sided painting and decided that portraiture would be the best genre for such a project. But I had not decided upon any particular subject until a friend of mine (Anna) became seriously and unexpectedly ill. My choice then became clear. I located a photograph of her that I liked, secured the copyright and set to work.
For the front panels I used the mixed technique (a hybrid of oil and egg tempera), Dorlan’s cold wax tempered with oil, encaustic (hot wax), and egg tempera. Some were pre-treated with collage elements while others were textured with a light relief. Still others were left untreated ( before the application of the chalk gesso ground). They all were painted in a full chromatic range as well as a full value range of values. See the detail images included here above, left and right. This front side was completed in 2011.
The back side has now been completed. You can see it here.
The assembled piece measures 44.5 x 63.5 cm or 17 1/2 x 25 inches. When framed it measures 50 x 70 cm or 19.6 x 27.5 in.