This portrait of my oldest son was inspired by a piece of writing from his forthcoming graphic novel, "Cockroach".
"The pit of me has become rotten. My core, hollowed out. Everything that matters, removed." - Raine Lee-Coulter (Rose Pyre)
Like most artists, I am drawn to visual contrast. I love the tension it can create. I’m also drawn to psychological contrast and appreciate how this helps me tell a story. My oldest son recently sent me a black and white reference photo of himself, where he bumped the saturation and contrast up. Visually, it was stunning. Over the next few days I began to obsess about the photo, returning often to look at it – and eventually to study and paint it. Here was my son, a study in contrast between sullen and sweet. A man of 24, and yet I could still see the 4 year old. Tattoos of tentacles and Lovecraftian runes adorn one forearm, a sweet diminutive bumblebee and mug of hot chocolate on the other paying homage to daily childhood treats I made. His eyes are piercing and intense, yet his smile softens his features and lights up a room. He has always been the sweetest boy and yet always drawn to the same dark literature and film as myself. There is tension in his psyche, and there is no better way to tell his story than with contrast between light and dark.