96 x 72 in | oil finger painting on canvas
Painted to be life size, a large adult female tiger flies out from the deep foliage, her attention locked on a point just out of our view. Yellow fireflies encompass the forest floor, and what might be a fire blazes in the distant background over the hill. Is this painting a tiger in a fiery pursuit of her prey? Or is this a tiger fleeing a woodland that’s going up in smoke? I leave it in the eye of the beholder, for the interpretation of the scene in fact tells a lot about the person. For me personally, “Tiger Fire” is about strength, purpose, and risk. Artistically speaking it’s like an act of visual prayer to paint a scene that reminds me to believe in myself and tackle the craft of painting with all of my will.
This is the largest finger painting I have completed to date. The blue tree trunks appeared for me a few paintings prior in a piece named “Deer Demure”. Blue trees were not my original intention, but I loved the accident so much I ran further with the blue palette here in “Tiger Fire”. While the scene reads as a green forest, there is almost no green at all, most of the plants are made up of blue next to yellow tones which vibrates the eyes into thinking they’re seeing green. The stripes of her fur coat are echoed in the markings of the leafy plants lining the bottom of the frame. You may recognize the influence of Henri Rousseau, whom I love and always seek out in art museums. His moonlit jungles have captured my imagination for decades and I cannot help but let aspects of his work trickle into my own jungles.
“Tiger Fire” will be included in my May 2019 exhibition in New York entitled “Ritual in Pairing”, this piece is the sister painting to a smaller work in the show “Pursuing Pigeon in Paint.” In that painting I depict my orange and black house-cat Foxy poised and ready to pounce at a sitting pigeon.
The scale of this work was the largest to date when it was painted. Eight feet wide and six feet tall, I had to utilize a step ladder many times to reach parts of the canvas. My little friends Foxy the cat and Batman the rabbit accompanied me in my studio in New York, the concrete jungle.