I’ve become indifferent to many of the hundreds of illustrations I’ve painted over the years. Not so with this picture. In fact, I can’t tell you if it’s an illustration or a painting. It’s just one of my favorites.
I was experimenting with fast-drying acrylic paint after years of using oils. I wanted to see if I could build up glazes like Titian and Rembrandt without waiting a week for each layer of paint to dry. Clients don’t like waiting for artwork to dry.
I gessoed a panel, sanded it smooth and started painting. To my surprise, the shadow of an airplane appeared. I set down my brushes and admired my work. The picture didn’t look complete; something was missing. But what?
A year passed, with the picture being relegated to the back of my closet. One day I rediscovered it and somehow knew what it needed. In less than an hour I added the antique globe. Why? I’ve no idea. But when the globe was added to the composition it just felt right. I’ve tried over the years to explain this image in words, but I’ve always failed. When I taught at our local art college I used to joke that if a picture made perfect sense and was easily comprehended by most people, it was an illustration. If it made no sense at all but just made you feel something, anything, it was a painting. For me, this is a painting.
Maybe you have an idea what it means.