Medium: Oil and gold leaf on canvas
Date: 2020
Dimensions: 30 x 40″

Mitchell Hughes

My art is about emotion. My paintings are a documentation and analysis of emotional states experienced by either myself or the sitter. Further, my paintings attempt to provoke these emotional states in the viewer. A paintings success lies ultimately in its ability to discuss emotional phenomena. If a painting cannot be felt it is not worth its materials alone. These priorities most easily manifest themselves in portraiture because of our deep and often subconscious emotional evaluation of the human experience. In my pursuit to interpret and create emotion, I am most successful in my portraits which push beyond realistic palettes and emphasize specific moments in order to reflect completely the inner state of the subject. My ultimate goal as an artist is to successfully cultivate specific emotional responses in the viewer of my work. One way I hope to accomplish this goal is to use color and form that is not perceivable in reality. I hope to make art that surpasses realistic parameters so that I may make something more realistic than reality itself.

            Whereas emotion is my destination, color is my vehicle. While a realistic color scheme can certainly be challenging, to rely on it alone would limit the artist’s creation. I cannot justify limiting my artwork unnecessarily. The colors I use in my paintings are almost always arrived at subconsciously. My process is heavily reliant on intuition and a deeper connection to the painting. In the moment of paint to canvas the color is almost a byproduct of my interaction with the painting. I am always, however, cognizant of color schemes and the psychological effects produced by certain amalgamations of color. This handling of color is key to my success as an artist.