Study Of An Old Man

By Ariana Jones

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I created this piece of artwork because it really reminded me of the people I associated with back where I lived in Beijing. I actually based this piece off of a picture of another painting I saw a while ago. That painting was much more detailed and was only coloured in black and white. It seemed to look more photographic than recreative. I like to focus my artwork on the way in which I can relate to the stories being told as well as how I can translate colour into the feelings that I want to portray.

This piece is rather abstract; it focuses on the colour theme in the background and how, by subjecting the foreground, it can communicate a mood. I used very thick brush strokes along with very dirty, plain colours to create that sort of dusty and street-like appearance. Everything is sort of blended together to create this hazy atmosphere. I wanted to do this so that the environment appears less intense. This puts a lot of focus on the man’s emotions, but since I wanted to communicate this sense of contentedness, I made the foreground look just as vague and “unattended to”.

All of my artistic choices were made to support these memories that I have of the elderly in China and how I would often just see them sitting on the sides of streets, watching everything go by. I loved how peaceful they were and I wanted to portray this kind of feeling to my audience through this old man’s silent gaze. My hope is for this painting to provoke thought in my viewers as they get a brief snapshot of this one man’s long life-story.