North Braddock Portraits: New portrait, plus all four together at once

I made this painting in my series of acrylic/caulking/glass portraits. I’m still experimenting with how to combine those elements in an engaging way. I’d like for them to eventually be more than the sum of their parts.

I like this portrait, but I think I still want to push this style forward somehow

I’m pretty happy with how the portraits look cool with each other- that’s part of the purpose. Each portrait has new ideas I’m trying to work out- hopefully by 2022 this will be a fully fleshed out portrait style that has consistent rules and stuff.

If you see the portrait on the bottom right has a ton of glass on the one side, and none on the other. It also uses caulking and wood chips and has a vague but segmented background. The two intervening portraits are simpler, but take a stab at pulling out aspects of the first portrait to find something simpler and more striking. The new portrait is just paint and glass. I like the simplicity of the new portrait a lot, even though I would like to get back to the comparative extravagance of the first portrait.

I might do a self portrait, something I’ve avoided for some time, in order to try to do a proof of concept. I think I’m still just feeling around try to pull something out of the darkness- part of me feels like if I push this to an extreme it will resolve in principle somehow. Who knows?

I’ve also been toying with the idea of putting the starbucks astronaut in scenes around the neighborhood. He could become a recurring character, perhaps, floating through the area. I want an avatar to occupy my world of paintings rather than a fully rendered self portrait.

Next I’ll be doing another abandoned house. Going to keep it simple since I had a second kid on Sunday and don’t have as much expendable time…maybe I’ll wear the kid while painting? Little tricky but not sure how else to get these paintings done.

As always, if you have ideas/thoughts, feel free to email me or comment. Thanks!

2 thoughts on “North Braddock Portraits: New portrait, plus all four together at once

  1. Wow Nathan! These look great together and definitely interact with each other. This new portrait is so interesting, partly because I don’t think you have ever had the subject look directly at the viewer. I’m drawn in and focused on his face because he is looking at me. I get to candidly witness the thoughts of the subjects in the other portraits, but this new subject addresses me while actively inviting me into a type of relationship with him. The direct red background and hazy way you have painted his shirt (which I love!) really pull me into his face even more. Your paintings for this show have given me glimpses into your neighborhood, and this portrait pulls me in to interact with your neighborhood. Well done Nathan, these are so exciting!

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