preliminary work

Here are my first ideas sketched for my new body of work. The picture quality is so poor because I'm having some scanning issues so they were taken with my digital camera really quick. I don't know that I want to get into the meaning behind each idea just yet. There's definitely a lot for me to sift through before I can get to the core idea right now I feel like I'm just touching the edges.

But let me know what you think about these sketches/ideas and hopefully I will be doing some more refined stuff to work out kinks before I start in on the larger works.

prelim sketch for 'feathers'

prelim sketch for 'fight'

prelim sketch for 'nest'


Raul Allen said...

is there anything you can share about what inspires these ideas. I believe it is good to know what is triggering something. Sometimes the concept is just a strong visual that you are looking after. I hope you don't mind me saying these still look a bit generic. I am not clear if you are trying to introduce symbols or play more with actions. 'Fight' does not seem to go along with the others so well since it seems like a different format and framing. IF you are envisioning these as large format paintings think of the spaces you are gonna use and how they interact with your concepts. Stablish a dialog between the figure and its surroundings.

Sam Hamilton said...

Thanks Raul, I know what you're saying about the dynamics between figure and environment. While I don't want to shy away from creating a space I am more interested in iconic painting than anything else. These are just the first incarnation of ideas that have come to me recently. I can try to elaborate on the concepts behind them. It's difficult because I have to delve into really personal things that I went through and this is my first ever attempt at sharing something so personal through my artwork.

In general this body of work is related to the growth I've experienced and what I've realized in stepping out of a long term relationship, what it was like to be in that relationship, now out of it and where do I go from here.

'Nest' is about the feeling of support I felt from my friends and family that while I might have neglected them in the time I was focused on my past relationship they were there for phone calls in the middle of the night, long e-mails and messages. The ultimate feeling I got from all of that support and love was being protected and the idea of a nest came to me immediately.

Around the time my relationship was unraveling and I was planning on moving out to live alone I started to take martial arts. I was literally physically learning how to fight as well as coming home almost every night and fighting with my significant other and myself about my decision to stay or go. I know this image seems extremely blah and cliche. If it helps to visualize the gloves I will be wearing will be baby pink and pristine while my face will be bloodied and mashed up.

While in the relationship I often felt that I was just a prop, I couldn't be myself because of the nature of my significant other's business. He had to be friends with everyone, whether I liked it or not. So, in that respect I constantly had to wear a mask when meeting people, a very pretty elaborate mask, so as to make him look good. There was a very well constructed exterior to the relationship that wasn't supposed to be disrupted by my emotions or opinions on any one person or subject.

I really appreciate your feedback because while the meaning behind these paintings is what is driving the work I want them to be strong captivating images that can stand alone. I plan to work on these three ideas, refine them more and also think more and make more ideas.

ETCIllustration said...

I think that you should try playing with perspective and composition a bit more to explore how they alter the moods of the pieces. I know these are thumbnails, but I'd also think a bit more about space (i.e. where is the subject? Is she in a room? in a void? How does that support the concept?) If these are going to be big pieces, there should visually be a good reason for the size, you know? However, I can also see these being simple compositions like in the thumbnails, but on a small scale. Like, if you made a ton of these little paintings, illustrating the complexity of your feelings in and out of your relationship. But if you want them big, then I think there needs to be more in terms of visual depth.

I agree with Raul that the "Fight" thumbnail is a little weak (at least the big one, the smaller thumbs are more interesting to me). "Nest" is the most dynamic, in my opinion. You can really go to town with those fabric folds! Talk about visual depth!

I'm really excited to see how this progresses. Good going, Sam!

Angela said...

Sam, It's great to see what you were describing actually sketched out. I can see what you were talking about much more clearly. You know, I would argue to keep these simple and still large scale. I think given the ideas you're working with, it might be more compelling to see "Fight" as just a larger than life painting of you, glove up and ready. It would really force the viewer into that space with you, and there would be little else for them to be distracted by. I also imagine "Nest" to just be folds up fabric surrounding you. I am imagining muted colors, but a lot of attention to detail paid to the way fabric behaves. I picture it to seem soft, comforting, like you're almost sinking right into it. As for "Feathers"...I'm not sure if a super simple background (or any background at all) would really strengthen or weaken the image, I think it would matter what you were thinking of filling the space with. But again, I think if there wasn't anything there. and you were painted life size, it would emphasize the loneliness you feel in having to mask who you are and put up a facade (not to throw the word 'lonliness' into your mouth, but i imagine it must be lonely not being able to be your own person). If there is little else in the background, I feel it might emphasize your lack of identity and lack of choices. If you're life sized, it forces the spectator into that position of being the other person you are putting up a front for.

But, you know....it would be good to see where you go with these and how it progresses. Good luck!

Angela said...

I was thinking that maybe you could look at Jenny Saville for ideas with the composition of these works.