Monday, March 18, 2013

'Coded thoughts' WIP 1

Backgrounds can do so much to add atmosphere to a painting not only with the use of colour and value but also subject matter. This has been a very complicated background to paint with lots of masking and many many layers of glazing needed to create the effect that I was after.

My subject for this painting will be my son Alex. I just couldn't resist the reference I am using because he looks focused and thoughtful but in a distant 'coded' way. I wanted to develop this idea further and use the background to help me do so, so I came up with the idea of using binary code.

Adolescence marks the beginning of the development of a more complex thinking processes. This shift rarely happens smoothly though... at times it is almost as if teenagers are thinking in an alien or 'coded' language... you wonder where thoughts are coming from and what they really mean... if indeed you understand them at all.  I'm sure I am not the only one that has experienced this.

So why binary code??? Alex  is really into computer sciences and there has been many a talk between him and his dad about binary code over the dinner table of an evening. I am fairly computer savvy on a basic level but often this more technical conversation is beyond me.  I thought this would be a great parallel to use... the rush of what seems to one person like a logical sequence of thoughts or events but to others who do not have the ability to fully understand the code  we are left wondering what they are thinking and why.

I am looking forward to bringing the portrait section of this painting to life over the next few weeks.



  1. oh my!!! What an awesome effect!!!


  2. Love the concept, as always. Although I'm working as a full time artist now, my background is electrical engineer. Despite this, my son who is an animation and interactive media student is now programming the functionality behind a game. When he gets talking about this I too feel like he's slipped into a coded language I barely understand. I suspect this painting will resonate with a lot of people. Anxious to see the finished product.

  3. Thank you April. I think probbaly most people can relate in some way to this whether its specific to computers or just more generally with the generation gap.