I have been working in my studio for a few weeks now and I would have to say I am about half done with the triptych I envisioned, starting with these sketches:
The ideas are staying alive in my paintings, but I am not going to add the Yarmulke (or Kippah) and shawl (or Tallit) since I feel my pieces will speak for themselves and the vague dualities in my paintings will blend together better. My main purpose is to show a Jewish character actor in a religious state (whether it be praying to, basking in, or fearing God) while the background represents my thoughts on secular and cultural Judaism.
I did discover, however, that I truly enjoy using mixed media to express my work. I have used pastel on top of acrylic to give a material sense to my work as well as textured gel. I can be gentle when painting a figure to becoming forcefully violent with pastel strokes in the background. I am excited to see what will happen with my plans from here. The best moment I had tonight when I worked was when I added pastel to the textured pumice gel. I was adding or "creating," but some of the pumice fell off which felt like "destruction." This situation reflects the controversy with secular Judaism. Some feel like they are creating a new era while others feel like the sacred respect of Judaism is being tossed aside.
These dualities remind me of Christodoulos Panayiotou's audio/video pieces of the before and after. The same situation is introduced, but different reactions occur with the different parts. Out of all of the artists of the weekend I felt this coincided the best with my work, but Hassan Khan's piece with the reflective glass also feels like my current piece. I feel like I am exposing my ideas for the first time on canvas without any restraint.