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Expressionist painting of an African-American nude model in red and green color palette
**click artwork to enlarge**
(oil painting on cardboard, 14X22, 1999)

"Glowing Nude"

If I were a search engine and one was to put in painting+nude I'd return a myriad funny stories from my life. One would be when at sixteen I was posing for my own portrait basically half-naked only to realize 10 years later that the only things visible in the portrait was my face, my neck and my collarbones. The rest of my bust was painted draped in some semi-abstract fabric around my shoulders. It came out as an awesome portrait, but why on Earth did I spend a month in my bra? For inspiration, I'm sure the artist (who's a good friend) would say.

Then there was the time when as a college freshman I went into my first art class and had to draw for my first assignment an older naked man who looked like an escaped convict. I did good, but at the end of the class it hit me that I was in the wrong room and it was not Drawing 101. I also had to sketch my roommate's boyfriend and even my ex's then current girl-friend as subjects in my classes. The 'best part' was that they had no problem coming up to me completely naked during brakes to make small talk. Nope, not awkward at all...

I chose to block most of those memories out. However, I still remember painting the Glowing Nude so well, as if it were yesterday. My model, a very beautiful African-American young woman, stood next to a window under direct sun light, which reflected on her skin in a colorful glow. I've never been as excited to paint a nude as I was on that day. Usually I'm more interested in people's faces as opposed to their bodies. Back in college I was one of those weirdos who had no idea what Usher's abs looked like when the girls around me were discussing his apparently well-sculpted stomach.

It's always been about faces for me. Nonetheless, that day the model's face was in the shade and all the sunlight was on her body. I did my best trying to ignore the model's face and concentrated all my efforts on the rest of her and the painting that came out is still one of my favorites.

"When you get the personality, you don't need the nudity."
Mae West

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."
Mark Twain

"I wasn't really naked. I simply didn't have any clothes on."
Josephine Baker