Pearl: Transformation Series, is a series of paintings and drawings. It was originally conceived as a two or three-year plan; but, after almost ten years it is not finished and has evolved into an open ended proposition. The goal is the exploration of the human experience through the painted images of a fictitious character named Pearl. Each location is designed to build familiar associations with the viewer, and each painting ads new dimensions with a variety of possible responses to the site. The initial artistic influences were: Peter Paul Rubens', Maria de' Medici Cycle; Claude Monet's, Haystack Series; John Singer Sargent's, late landscape paintings, Andrew Wyeth's, Helga Series; and the contemporary paintings of Eric Fischl. Besides exploring the aspects of time and location on the model and the anticipated response of the viewer, the series was designed to document the power of painting, of art, to transform the artist.
In many ways, the project has met many of the initial objectives. During the creation of the series, selected paintings have been exhibited at several venues with viewers expressing a wide range of opinions. The combined influences are constantly converging in new combinations that are both traditional and contemporary. Many of the original paintings have been reevaluated and repainted, sometimes over and over again. The impulse for the reworking is not as much to improve the paintings, but to experiment with a more layered approaches to the painting process. The method is moving from a direct, single-layered, opaque surface to a more indirect, multiple-layered, depth oriented painting – where form is modeled with a variety of paint qualities, transparent through opaque. Unfortunately while these reworked paintings are both the summation of the past and the promise of the new; they destroy the original impulse. A new goal, with hindsight, emerges of preserving or documenting the original paintings and making new works that express the new insights while remaining open to other possibilities.
The compulsion to paint, to make has been the driving force behind Pearl: Transformation Series. The current body of work consists of approximately 75 medium sized oil painting, 50 small oil studies, 100 small acrylic studies, 1 book of acrylic paintings, 100 watercolor paintings, and 5 sketchbooks in graphite and ink, several notebooks containing dates, locations, process details, and goals, as well as several hundred photographs and video interviews with the model on locations. While the work keeps accumulating (the complete series is still a single collection), it has never been inventoried and lacks documentation of the different procedures.
(This statement was originally written as a supporting document for a grant application. I didn't get the grant. This web-site is my attempt to inventory and document the series.)