This is a study of Jake Blount, a character from the novel "The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter" by Carson McCullers.
When I'm playing around with materials, and searching for the people in the paint, there are times when there is a sense of regret... Objects, colours, line, mistaken marks and other things that I thought were essential, something that seemed to form the thing as a whole, or say something strong - can be obliterated in an instant.
I tell my students that the greatest place to be while you're working on a piece is where you find yourself making a decision that could ruin everything or make something fantastic happen. Fear is a good.
Patience though, is equally so. Last Friday night I stayed late at the studio and ruined what I thought was going to be something kinda cool. The painting had this wild chartreuse colour in the background that clashed nicely with the beginings of Jake's head and arms. And then I covered it all up. The damn thing looked like someone had cut their hair over it. So I had a drink and went home. Didn't think about it, taught on Monday - then came back to it with fresh eyes yesterday...
And I like it. It's different than I foresaw... The face, the weight in it is better and more suitable to this frustrated, angry, drunken character.
I always have a bit of regret, little pieces I wish I'd kept, but that's what happens when you don't adhere to a strict formula, pattern or process while you work. I like the surprises. It's like getting to know a person like Jake in an unpredictable conversation.