Looking back on the BFA Figures, especially since realizing that my inability to speak out is the thing that has been hampering me for so long, I can now see the restraint in my artwork. It was marvelous the way I created the initial BFA figures, painting them in such a spontaneous manner, quickly drawn figures with paint. But when I look at them now, I can see how their expression is tempered.
Outstretched arms, yet feet firmly planted on the ground. Trying to get up. Or sitting on my heels with head in hands. They were supposed to be leaping and dancing, and a few of them were, but many of them ended up looking like they were being tossed around by unseen forces. Those that are standing are despondent or flinching in reaction to something.
And then there is my most curious yet telling figure, the one with her hand thrust up, running away. Anger in red is coming off her head, but she can only express her anger in a passive way, as she is running in the other direction. This image really sums up how I was back then. I swallowed my feelings, afraid to express them. And in my artwork I hid these figures among chaos.
I have no idea about my favorite, Diving Woman, who always seemed to be diving to escape something chasing her.
Color was completely arbitrary. I had no feel for color. It really meant nothing, other than obvious associations like red for anger or blue for melancholy. This was another reason I felt like such a fraud as my professors praised the BFA Final Portfolio paintings. Although I do wish I had pursued that direction and found my way down that path instead of abandoning the work to go back to basics, losing my way before finding it again.
I have changed my mind about redoing the BFA Figures. I sketched them in my sketchbook the end of last year (either November or December) and that is all I want to do with them. I would rather continue the reinterpretation of them on the big wall canvases (to be posted when I get a few of them done). Here are the sketches: