It’s been a while since I have created an “Art Focus” post, the section where I spend a bit more time talking about one painting or even series of paintings. Today, Dan May released a new painting that gave me the inspiration to get this section back on track. For those familiar with Dan May’s work you are well aware of the content in most of his paintings. He employs a dry-brush style with acrylic paints, and creates these magical worlds with creatures plucked right out of his imagination. In the past two years however, Dan has been adding more figurative elements to his work. Stylized figures, often with little or no facial features, would make their way into his paintings and slowly more and more figurative has been filling his portfolio. In 2011 (Flickr) Dan created a few paintings that hinted to a new possible direction, as well as showed the artists ability to render faces and figures.
This new painting, entitled Northbound, focuses a majority of the attention on the figure. The stylized hair seen in his most recent figurative work The Departure, is missing and Dan has opted for a more realistic presentation. The lighting, and sky is the background, is a bit moody, however it serves to really push the focus on the figure. Aside from the skin tones, expression, and energy in this figure, I am most impressed by the “weight” the figure seems to have. It’s clear that Dan thought of the internal anatomy while painting this figure, as opposed to creating a shell that tries to represent a figure. The most impressive figurative works are those that you can believe the person exists, no matter how stylized they may be, you can sense every element, every bone and muscle that makes up the figure. Dan has achieved this perfectly with his first painting of 2012, and now I am curious as to what the next year will bring.