This male nude demonstrates my ability to give a naturalistic approach to color. The blues and oranges injected into the composition have a more subdued quality than my other work. To some degree, they almost look like neutrals. “Long Calling” also has a Cezanne-ish quality as demonstrated by the parred down color palate and larger than life subject. As a nod to Cezanne, one of my favorite artists, the figure also has a delineated outline that is filled in with deliberate brushstrokes. Most artists talk about stripping down later on in their career. Trying out a more sparse style here, I have an understanding of why less can be more.
Yet, “Long Calling” also speaks to Van Gogh in the respect that the bedroom environment is just as important as the figure. I want the viewer to wonder what he’s thinking about. Why is he in that bedroom and what sort of thoughts are weighing on his mind?
Male models are interesting to paint primarily because of their physicality. There was a strength to this man in terms of how he possessed the space, accentuated by the hand on the shoulder. His strong sense of masculinity is what I was trying to capture. As an artist that likes to create visual tension, I also like that his arm is right at the end of the painting. The hope is that it draws the eye to his statuesque frame and the fact that he is so in his body. Hiding the most important feature, his face, lends a touch of mystique. I like that the viewer cannot see all of him.
This is one of my simpler works of art where I wasn’t trying too hard. By keeping the shape open and the details minimal the eye can truly focus on what matters: the composition.