As if one empty head was not enough, I got myself another. I came across this glass mannequin head – which is supposed to be a hat holder – in Pier I and had to have it. And paint it. I hear “two heads are better than one” everywhere, so maybe there is hope.

The glass head is life size, and I paired it with a stack of old books – the ultimate clarity. I couldn’t resist the distortions and play of light the glass creates. The title – Clarity – is of course a play of words and a bit of a mockery: the resulting painting, while rendered in realistic tradition, contains surprisingly abstract shapes and patterns.

6″ x 6″ (15 x 15 cm) oil on gessobord panel. To participate in an auction and perhaps acquire an empty head for yourself 🙂 – click here.


17 thoughts on “Clarity

  1. Good God woman! Your work will never seize to amaze me….The books showing through the mannequin head are no less than what I would expect to see if I were looking through the glass head myself. Wonderful work, Alex! Just wonderful… just keep getting better and better all of the time.

    • You are so kind to me and my work, Debbie! I so appreciate! I hope that I am getting better… (don’t we all…), but it seems to get harder as well. I had hopes that it would get easier with gained experience, but it is not the case so far. Every new painting is as difficult as the first one, I haven’t figured out why is that.

  2. I’m glad you mentioned the abstract shapes because I was going to say something about them. This work is almost a bit surreal to me. The head, the books, the title, the distortions all work together so perfectly and yet there is a sense of humor about it as well. Your ability to render your images so realistically is amazing. To me, what makes this wonderful is the fact that you took images and put them together in such a way that it says so much more than “glass head with books”.

    BTW, not for nothin’ but that glass head is cool!

    • “Surreal” is a great word! Thank you for bringing it up, Carol! It was there somewhere, on the tip of my tongue, I was trying to catch it but never did. Yep, that glass head is awesome, I hope to paint it again. I have just a hat for it :D!

  3. Mind boggling…….

    “I see skies of blue and clouds of white…
    The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night…
    And I think to myself… how long it took God to render them all!”

      • Also some day you should do a “making of …” style WIP sequence for lesser mortals like me. Still in awe, as to how you figured the play of light through the glass head.

    • Ha! It was indeed hard! Somewhere in the middle i wasn’t all that sure that it would come out. I was also wondering why did I choose to paint something so difficult. I think it came out in the end, and I am glad I went for it. Thank you for your kind words, Linda!

  4. Oh my gosh, Alex! I haven’t been here in a while and I am totally amazed and in awe of all the beautiful paintings you have been doing!! I am especially partial to that old Singer. My mom had one of those. I wonder what ever became of it??? Your work is so gorgeous, Alex. I’m glad I popped in to visit.

  5. This is great, Alex! I have to “ditto” what Carol has said, above. Plus I see some things in this I really, really like! So much to see! My very favorite part of this painting is the top of the head with all that abstract darkness and a “ping” of life that brings him into the moment for me and gives him a quality that reads as much more than empty. The referencing of setting the books next to him and that the light may have come through through the communications of others is HUGE, for me, in this. The dribbly light bouncing around on the pages of the books makes me want to know what their titles are and what they say so I, too, might have “clarity”. Awesome…….

  6. Oh. My. Word. Alex, I swear I thought that was a photo of the composition and I’d scroll down and see the painting!! This is incredible – you should be earning millions and have your work in private collections all over the world. Seriously – you are fabulous!

  7. Your work is gorgeous!
    I love the details and the subjects are so different. I believe the mannequin head represents me, hollow and fragile, with books fighting to get in and feed the knowledge, but with no success. I hate reading! LOL

    • That was exactly the idea I had for this painting – the empty head is mine! or whoever else wants to look onto themselves this way. We only use 7 percent of our brain capacity to function, it is unimaginable what we could do if we could increase that. Thank you for stopping by and checking out the painting, Ryan!

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