Bob Dylan, 10″ x 8″ Reverse (Acrylic) Painting on Glass
This painting is one portrait from on ongoing series I am making about unique American artists. If you look at my book, you’ll see artists with diverse talents such as James Baldwin, Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, Mahalia Jackson, Kara Walker, Jackson Browne, Nina Simone, Latoya Ruby Frazier, and more. I recently painted Rhiannon Giddens, banjo-player, and former singer and songwriter for the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Each artist was chosen for how they have contributed to my well being and happiness through their brilliant talents.
You can read the digital book here.
At the outset of this project I realized that I wanted to use a unique medium: I chose the centuries-old medium of reverse-painting on glass. The technique requires looking through the 1/4″ thick piece of glass while painting on the back side. It’s tricky but very satisfying when it comes together. Because acrylic dries quickly you must plan carefully and work fast. Usually, corrections are not an option. I imagine it’s kind of like doing improv; you have one shot to get it right and it either hits the mark or falls flat. However, the vivid colors and remarkable paint passages that just don’t occur in other media make it a thrilling process when it succeeds. Because of these qualities, it made me realize that this could translate beautifully to the medium of printing.
I’ve made about 20 portraits on glass so far, a few of which are shown in this post. Now, I am transforming them into digital prints.
After viewing other artist’s prints, and having myself made monotypes, intaglio and more, I have the experience and opinion that digital printing is a medium in its own right. The way the ink is deposited on the paper surface, flat with no texture, is exquisitely smooth, flawless and sophisticated….if you work with a great printer, that is. This is why I consider it a separate medium on its own. An oil painting on linen has a different quality from ink on smooth paper. Neither is better than the other; they are just different. Additionally, a print is protected by and viewed through glass which gives it a clean, museum-like formal presentation which can be striking. A wide mat will enhance this aspect, separating it from the world with its deliberate presentation.
I believe when you buy a high quality digital print or “giclee” you are buying a unique art form, not just a reproduction of an “original.” Giclee printing has reached the quality where digital prints now hang in museums.
I happen to work with one of the best digital printers in the country: Pat Carr of Carr Imaging, in Albuquerque, NM. Pat and his wife Barbara and I, have worked together to create this body of artwork as digital prints. The inks are superb, archival quality. Now you can get Bob Dylan, a bold jewel of a print, to hang on your wall. Bob Dylan is the first one I am offering in the series. I think Lady Gaga will be next. Perhaps, Nina Simone. You can always check back here to see my latest.
Side note: The print shows Bob as the older, dapper gent that he is. His work of epic genius “Murder Most Foul” is the first song in his catalog to reach number one on the Billboard Charts. I love every second of this song.
The print measures 12″ x 10″ and includes a white 1″ border all around. You can get your Bob print here: