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Charles Alexander Moffat Retrospective 1998

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Bottle of Femininity : 1998

Eternal Lovers : 1998

Faces of Personality : 1998

Hallway Lilith #1 : 1998

Hallway Lilith #2 : 1998

Hallway Lilith #3 : 1998

Hallway Lilith #4 : 1998

Hallway Lilith #5 : 1998

Hands Off : 1998

The Glancing : 1998

The Glowing Maid : 1998

The Glowing Violinist : 1998

For years now people have asked me for more details about my work, poking me with questions about how I made them, why I made them and what the paintings mean. And of course the obvious question, how much?

I don't even try to sell my paintings (but people do buy them sometimes). Many of my works are rather academic and theoretical. They are not the kind of paintings that you would see in on someone's livingroom wall or at the dentist office. Instead, they are the kind of paintings you might see in a major art gallery, where theoretical and historical paintings find their place.

I do occasionnally do commissions however, as you will see, and I do occasionally sell my paintings as well. I am rather loathe to part with them however.

My popularity is also rather flattering. I have fans all over the world, university students writing essays about my work, regular emails from fans who "oooh and awwwww", I've been mentioned in several documentaries, and even art groupies. I also receive regular hate-mail and threats from people who find my artwork to be somehow offensive or even blasphemous. According to many people, I am going to hell. I do not let my popularity/anti-popularity bother me however. I just find it amusing.

When I look back over the years at my work, I realize how much my work has changed, and also how much it hasn't changed. I still focus more on people, particularly women, and I am still a romantic at heart. My latest works have become more and more controversial.

As you compare different years of my work, you will see repetitive themes, such as the violin paintings. I usually do one violin painting per year. Some years there is no violin painting. Why do I make violin paintings? Because they're difficult to draw, to shade and to paint. They make excellent practice. I've gotten to the point where I can now draw and accurately shade a realistic violin from memory. Perhaps I should find something even more difficult, to give myself a challenge.

Challenges are also an aspect of my work. Some of my paintings were made partly because it was a challenge. Painting a plaid shirt for example, is a very difficult practice. Not all of my paintings are a challenge however. Some are just a compositional formula that I have worked out, and that formula is simply repeated in numerous paintings. Sometimes I tweak the formula and play with it, change it. I actually have several different That formulas that I use, off and on from time to time. These formulas have become iconic of my style.

Stylistically, I also change my style back and forth as well. Some artworks are almost photographic, while others are more abstract or stylized. It varies largely upon the theme of the piece and what particular style I think is suitable for that piece.

Not all of my art pieces are shown online. Many of them have never even been photographed. For example, my metal and wood sculptures are not shown online, because showing sculpture online really does not do the sculpture piece any justice. Many of my photographic works also are not online, as well as many paintings, numerous drawings, commissions, paintings/photographs that were made as a gift to someone, etc.

The works that are shown online tend to be the ones that are more theoretically and academic. I do make landscape paintings, but I don't show them online often. There are some examples of such art pieces, to give people a broader sense of what I do, but otherwise I simply don't bother to show such pieces online.

  • Bottle of Femininity : 1998
  • Pencil and Indian Ink on Paper
  • Holding a wine bottle in one hand, and the sketchpad in the other, I drew this while laying down in a hammock. After the pencil sketch was done, I took out the indian ink, drew over the pencil lines, added in the shape of a female figure instead the bottle, added stippling to the background to give it more depth, all whilst I was still in the hammock. Not quite a genie bottle, the idea of the picture was to capture (in a literal sense) the essense of what femininity is, and make it look like she was trying to escape. I still have the 750 mL wine bottle somewhere. As a practice, I find stippling is a very rewarding way of drawing something, but is time consuming.

  • Eternal Lovers : 1998
  • Acrylic on Illustration Board
  • Eternal Lovers was loosely based upon a different art piece by Rebecca Guay, an American illustrator, and a different painting that I did in 1997 (Love Ripple). I ignored the rest of Guay's drawing and focused in on a specific section of her drawing, reproducing only that section because it was so similar to the Love Ripple painting. I then dramatically altered the colors, removed the shading, and made an abstract version of the piece, using colour theory to create an interesting and exciting art piece. The piece is thematically identical to the 1997 painting Love Ripple. This painting was sold to a British collector.

  • Faces of Personality : 1998
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • In this painting the focus was to create four distinct personalities of women, and to experiment with colour theory in the background. My interest in colour theory is how to combine and contrast different colours to create interesting visual effects. Some people comment that the background looks like "rainbow intestines", which is an amusing idea. 1998 was a year during which I made many portraits, this particular painting was a precursor to many other paintings and the beginning of the vast number of portrait paintings I have made of women. I am a portrait painter at heart, and so you will notice in many of my works I tend to focus on only the neck and up.

  • Hallway Lilith #1 - #5 : 1998
  • Acrylic on Plaster
  • This series of five paintings was part of a larger mural that was commissioned. The shapes are meant as puzzle pieces, in which other artists would add their own impressions in new puzzle pieces as the mural grew. In these pieces I experimented with colour theory and portrait painting, choosing to continue the personalities idea from the "Faces of Personality" piece..

  • Hands Off : 1998
  • Acrylic on Paper
  • Sexual lechery becomes the topic here, in which the female figure appears in a defensive position, cradling herself while groping hands float about her, even in between her legs. However, the hands don't actually touch her, as if there is an invisible forcefield around her. The title "Hands Off" refers to the phrase "Keep your hands off!" The female figure glows with a lively green to represent life, and begins a theme of glowing green in my paintings.

  • The Glancing : 1998
  • Acrylic on Illustration Board
  • This is an extreme close up of a man looking over his shoulder to glance at a woman who appears to be whispering to him. The shadowing is intense, bringing an air of mystery to the scene. Hidden glances, whispering secrets, romance and love under the cloak of darkness and a ghostly green light.

  • The Glowing Maid : 1998
  • Acrylic on Paper
  • The Glowing Maid is a portrait of teacher/writer Suzanne MacNevin, who sometimes writes under the name of "The Glowing Maid" or "Glowmaid". Her green skin, red eyes, black/white streaked hair, bandanna and the strange sky background make her look like a witch. The bandanna is a repetitive theme in my work. You will also notice bandannas in "Faces of Personality" and "Hallway Lilith #3." Again this piece is an experiment in colour theory, and repeats the glowing theme of 1998.

  • The Glowing Violinist : 1998
  • Acrylic on Illustration Board
  • Colour theory and violins combine here in a painting specifically for practice. The piece has no special meaning beyond the fact that its interesting to look at.

  • The Suited Medusa : 1998
  • Acrylic on Illustration Board
  • Originally not meant to be a Medusa, the woman's wild and funky hair seemed very snake-like, and so I chose to call it that. "Woman with Wild Hair" just didn't seem appropriate. Plus I do enjoy the whole medusa theme, which can be found in several other paintings. The colour theory used in this piece matches the "Eternal Lovers" painting above.

    The Suited Medusa : 1998

  • Twelve Faces : 1998
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • Portrait painting and colour theory goes into overdrive in this painting of twelve women all looking towards a central focal point. If the viewer stands roughly four feet from the middle of the painting, all the eyes seem to be focused on the viewer. So its not just you looking at the painting, the twelve other people are looking back at you. Strange, funky hair is also an important aspect of this painting. I've been told by a number of people that the painting reminds them of hair salons. Like the "Faces of Personality" piece, the background is again an experiment in colour theory as well.

    Twelve Faces : 1998

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