The inspiration for this piece came from my trip to Pasenda, CA in Nov. 2015 with the MFA grads of Hartford Art. I heard a wonderful presentation from the all time famous Illustrator Kenton Nelson. He mentioned he painted the Colorado bridge, aka the Suicide bridge yearly. So I just had to see this bridge since I was staying nearby. Architecturally the bridge was grand. But the weight of how many lives its claimed was very heavy.
In my piece, I wanted to capture that weight, beauty, and reflection. Suicide is ugly but the desire to seek comfort in others is beautiful even if its not in another human. To be clear, it isn't a self portrait however a lot of me is reflective in this piece. I mentioned in an earlier post that I had a troubled childhood and at an early age, I also contemplated suicide on more than one occasion. Thankfully, that is long behind me but the scars always remain. So, in "Contemplation," I wanted the woman to interact with something living... sometimes salvation can be found in the oddest of places and this woman for a moment has found it with this pigeon. Is she saying goodbye or is it a moment of peace? I don't know perhaps the viewer can decide, does she jump or does she stay.
The above series of photos, shows my initial reference photo of the light post. Followed by my proposed sketch, drawing process on the board. A little hiccup of realization that I did not want daylight colors. The next photo is a digital color comp. followed by the stages of laying in the paint.