this week I was lucky enough to attend the opening of Jason Bard Yarmosky's
solo show "Elder Kinder" at Lyons Wier Gallery, in New York City. It's a
terrific painting exhibition, and it got me thinking about how an artist can
develop both figure drawings and figure paintings of the same subject
into finished pieces with entirely different tones and feelings.
and paints senior citizens (his grandparents are his most frequent models) in
strange, inappropriate-seeming outfits and accessories, such as superhero costumes, rabbit
ears, and prom dresses. The artist's drawings and paintings are closely
related—some compositions are the basis for both a drawing and a painting.
The exhibition is a mix of humor, reflection, and painting aptitude.
But as I looked at the works in person for the first time, I was
surprised that even with their dark backgrounds and deep shadows, I found the
tone of the paintings to be light. I think the artist's graphite figure
drawings (which were featured last year in Drawing
magazine) are melancholy and humorous in about equal measure. But something
about the bright value contrasts and the large scale of the paintings brings the
humor of these genial models to the fore.
|Rockabye Baby by Jason Bard Yarmosky,
oil on linen, 60 x 40.
||Len With Swimmies by Jason Bard Yarmosky,
graphite drawing, 24 x 18.
|Kinder Love by Jason Bard Yarmosky,
graphite drawing, 18 x 24.
|Horse Feathers by Jason Bard Yarmosky,
oil on canvas, 64 x 50.
just a personal interpretation of one artist's work. But it just goes to show
that even when working with the same subjects, you can achieve very different
results depending on your choice of materials. If you're working on how to paint or how to draw people in a
way that achieves a certain emotional effect, it may actually help to mix it up
and try a different media, a different surface, or work on a different scale.
You never know when making just a change or two can have a huge impact on the
impression made by a finished piece.