I guess you could say that my paintings “poke a stick in the eye” of my subject matter. Sometimes I paint without that intention, but usually I want to say something about society or humankind and their choices, etc. Yeah, maybe I can be hypercritical, but everyone has their opinions, right? Maybe I try to make fun of it? Maybe that’s my way of getting back at something that I can’t touch? I am making my own critical comment or commentary of the world not just around me, but as a whole. As humans, we are all different, yet some are very similar. I think I want to show this in art, perhaps using my own cynical mindset and humor.
This may be why I paint my imaginary portraits, rather than directly portray real people. One could do the exact same thing while painting actual people. I am just exaggerating the overall look and feel of my specific subject.
I don’t paint landscape because usually there are no human figures in them. A landscape artist could probably show the same thing I am trying to portray, by painting ugly polluted cityscapes, or beautiful country villages, but I’d much rather just paint people. (I’m not putting down landscapes, mind you.)
One of my painting professors once said that portrait painting and figurative work in general was the most difficult genre to focus on. I took that as a challenge. I really enjoy trying to make the painting look as “realistic” as possible, or if I am painting a specific person, to make that sitter look real. Yes it is difficult, but I like that challenge.