I Thought “Everybody’s Behaving Like Dogs” would be a fitting title for a painting I started a couple years ago , inspired by Tom Wait’s lyrics in “9th and Hennepin” from his album “Rain Dogs”. This mixed media project was inspired from an assignment I gave to a student to overcome his self doubt of creating portraits. 

I wanted an approach dealing with faces in an alternative, simplistic manner, using eyes, nose, and mouth cut from magazines, or using basic shapes cut from colored papers to represent those forms, and reassemble them into a new face. “Tibetan Princess” (seen below), is a test project i did before giving the assignment. I used a “wet on wet” approach to begin with Liquitex inks, sprinkled with salt, to achieve a “star burst” effect on paper. When the paper and ink was still wet I placed plastic wrap on top to create random abstract shapes, then I cut shapes to represent eyes, nose, mouth and other adornments for her face. 

Tibetan Princess
Tibetan Princess, mixed media.

I don’t have the result of my students finished piece,  but after he completed the assignment I started throwing away his scrap pieces of paper when I realized I could re-purpose them into another portrait which became “Everybody Is Behaving Like Dogs”. Below are the results of the collage. I re-printed the x-ray head and owl eyes, re-cutting them using an x-acto blade.

Everybody's Behaving Like Dogs, (study)
Background assemblage.
Everybody Is Behaving Like Dogs
Background assemblage with inkjet printout place on top.

The images above are the paper collage I made from “scrap” pieces of paper. The background assemblage (top), and the finished collage (bottom). Its a combination of inkjet printouts with various random papers colored with Liquitex inks. On top is the assemblage glued to black construction paper, and on the bottom is the assemblage with the x-ray head placed on top. This became my study for the canvas.


Below are four stages of the painting.

The medium is “chunk” graphite with oil paint on canvas.





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