R. O. Woody Studio Russell O. Woody Jr

When you look at my work over a long period of time, as you are doing here, you may be tempted to say that this is the work of several different artists. From my perspective, however, the work has a very logical ebb and flow.

I was trained as a realist (see OLD WOMAN) and I became, as most artists can, adept at the techniques. And for a short while I was very satisfied with my work. The comments of "how life like", "look at all the detail", "it must have taken forever", were very pleasing. Pleasing, that is, until I realized that no one was understanding what I was really trying to do. And the longer I painted, the more I wanted get to the essence of the subject, the truth, the philosophy -- not just the surface. So I became "looser", more "Impressionistic" (see OLD MAN and GRAND MOTHER). And the work became more and more abstracted. I was very pleased with the work, but not with the sales. So I did other things in order to support my habit (see the following resume).

At one point I became aware that I was using color as a crutch. If I couldn't achieve the essence, I could fake it with color. I have taught and lectured on color theory and when I became aware of what I was doing I switched to black on black. This also coincided with the tragedy of social unrest, the death of Martin Luthur King, Jr and the Kennedys and the personal ciaos of my life at the time. Fitting.

The black paintings became three dimensional with projections from the surface and cuts through the surface. Then the logical step, for me that is, was to literally make the painting three dimensional....double sided. They hung from ceiling. There was a yang/yen to this in that within opposites is the opposite. That was the concept of the two sides. It was done with color as well as projected, limited forms.

Then color came back with a vengeance and took over. I used color as a major statement of concept. The work was large.

Eventually the work moved back to a more conventional surface. It seems many artists return to their roots where things seem purer, simpler, more truthful and a bit more direct -- and fun. I did. I think I have found a form that gets to the heart of what I want. You may disagree. And it probable will change again. Truth can be seen from many sides. Through all of this, my major theme was the human figure; especially the female nude as an expression of life and an interchange of all forms -- earth, sky, water, fire, and probably other classical basics that cannot be very well expressed. I know I can't --- except through the work.