My subject matter is a cinematic autobiography made from photos which were discarded by my family. I turned the flat, black and white or faded images into Technicolor, a medium which is associated with the heightened emotion of melodrama. Technicolor movies were the realm I escaped to during a sometimes difficult childhood.
Each day in the studio I created a cyan, magenta and yellow gouache painting, based on a single pencil sketch. At night I combined the individual paintings in a process similar to three-strip Technicolor. The next day, I would repaint the three layers and create another proof. I painted “blind” not knowing the final colors until the paintings were complete. I repeated this process until I was satisfied with the resulting color. To create the transparency of the campfire at the top of this page, I made 36 gouaches.
The following thumbnails show the creation of a single image. Each row is a day’s work. I painted “blind,” not knowing how colors would combine. After making a proof, I started the process over again with new paintings, the next day.
As part of an exhibition of the backlit transparencies, I included the 143 gouache paintings set up as a chronological timeline of my process. Each column represented a day in the studio. Notes, dates and proofs were visible; all mistakes, deadends and breakthroughs of my process were revealed.