Joslyn IV Dream Girl

Joslyn IV Dream Girl

© Rae Johnson

Date: 1999
Materials: oil on canvas
Measurements: 70 x 50 in./po

Dream Girl - 1999
The dream girl paintings began with photo sessions using a digital camera to record my daughter Joslyn sitting inside of a "still-life" of objects - curtains, glass tables, flowers, sculpture. As she sat quietly, her face would subtly transform, her inner thoughts floating across her features like shadows. When I saw a "moment" that I recognized I would record it, then draw it and paint it on canvas.

In this group of paintings, the digital photograph served as a preliminary drawing. I used a grid to map the digital image onto canvas. Then I used graphite to block in the image replicating the exact proportions of the digital still. An interesting perceptual tension arose. The surface is explicitly sensual with the stroking and smudging of a soft drawing graphite caught within the rigid outlines of the camera. The eye subliminally recognizes the proportions of a machine-seen "real" image - the digital photograph - yet the rendering is low-tech, tactile, hand-made "unreal".

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