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Outside Looking In

November 17th, 2012

One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about using masks as subject matter is how what is shown on the surface isn’t necessarily what is truly represented underneath. This duality is further enhanced by the reaction of the viewer to the mask and what it represents to them. The viewer, in effect, has a tendency to project their own emotions onto the finished painting. Often, the ‘story’ I thought I was telling is not the ‘story’ the viewer took away from their exposure to the finished painting.

Now I’ve discovered this same phenomenon is occurring with the animal paintings I’ve been creating of late. I’ve been focussing each composition entirely on the animal’s face with the intent of drawing the viewer to the eyes. A big part of understanding what an animal is feeling or preparing to do is through their body language. Without the visual aid of body-language the viewer has no idea what the animal is truly up to or how they really feel.

My latest painting is a good example of this. I’ve heard several different ‘takes’ on what this tiger represents or is up to. With that in mind, I decided that instead of projecting my own ideal of what this painting represents I’ll just stand on the Outside Looking In


Outside Looking In – 20″x16″ – Acrylic on canvas – Completed 11/16/12

©2012, Don Michael, Jr.

If my math is correct, this latest Over the Under-Schmeerings (OTUS) painting is number 80 in the series… and number 81 is already in the works. Speaking of which, I think I hear it calling me from the studio.

Happy Creating!

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6 Comments for 'Outside Looking In'

  1. Elizabeth Seaver Said:

    Your use of color is just amazing, Don. The fur is luminous and the eyes, definitely have it–pun intended. It is great to see your newest work!

  2. Don Michael, Jr. Said:

    Thank you, Elizabeth! As much as I thought I understood about color, I find that I am learning even more as I explore this OTUS series. Your pun brought a smile to my face. Thanks for that, too. 😀


  3. Hw(hallie)Farber Said:

    I believe he’s thinking “If I can get past that black leather jacket, he’d be tasty.” This is great.

  4. Don Michael, Jr. Said:

    Hallie… Thank you! I’m hoping he stays on THAT side of my leather jacket…


  5. Peggy Stermer-Cox Said:

    Hi Don, Stunning face! It’s interesting to realize that its hard to tell if the tiger is being aggressive or not. Congrats on 80 and counting OTUS paintings!

  6. -Don Said:

    Hi Peggy! Great to hear from you. Thank you! I agree. To take it another step further, my son actually thought this would fit in with one of the commercials against the inhumane treatment of animals that has Sarah McLachlan’s song playing. Once he said that, I couldn’t NOT see it. Crazy, huh?




Copyright © Don Michael, Jr.