Cain and Abel

Cain and Abel

I hope you’re doing well! I’ve been working on something new, and I really wanted to share it with you and get your thoughts. This piece is called “Cain and Abel,” and it’s a bit of a twist on the old biblical story. Let me give you the rundown.

As always I will divide this letter of mine into paragraphs so you can read it more easily.

  1. Objective description of the drawing.
  2. Reason that encouraged me to paint this drawing.
  3. Message conveyed by the work.
  4. The technique used to create the work.
  5. Personal final criticism.

 


1) Objective description of the drawing.

First of all, the title: Cain and Abel then, right in the center of the paper, I drew these two figures. They are awkward and obese, stylized in a way that exaggerates their human form. At first glance it seems that they are embracing each other, but if you look closer at the bottom of the paper, you will see that each of them is holding a long sharp knife, threatening the other. It’s like capturing a scene frozen in time, a single frame of a longer, more intense confrontation. The expressions on their faces are almost content, even happy, with what they are doing. It’s a strange mix of calm and imminent violence.

The colors I’ve used for these two figures range from pink to yellow, with some black edges made with charcoal. The background is a light blue, which contrasts with the figures and adds a bit of an eerie calmness to the scene. The obesity of the figures is deliberate, serving as an allegory for how they’re so full of pride and arrogance that they can’t see the sense in stopping and talking things out.


2) Reason that encouraged me to paint this drawing.

Now, why did I feel the need to paint it? Well, I was thinking about the eternal struggle that often occurs between brothers of all ages for the most trivial reasons. It has always struck me how these conflicts can arise over things that are, in the grand scheme of things, rather insignificant compared to life itself. Envy is as old as humanity and often triggers conflicts which, if not defused, can lead to truly tragic endings full of regrets.


3) Message conveyed by the work.

The message I’m hoping to convey with this work is pretty much the opposite of what’s depicted. I want viewers to see the exasperation and intolerance leading to a tragic end and understand that the message of peace isn’t always depicted by a handshake. Sometimes, it involves engaging in dialogue and finding a solution together. Fighting is never the answer, and this piece is a visual reminder of that.


4) The technique used to create the work.

As for the technique, I went with oil pastels mixed with bold strokes of charcoal. The dimensions of the drawing are 12.9 x 9.4 inches. I chose such a small format because I wanted my art to be accessible to those who have limited space but still want to exhibit something meaningful. Plus, it’s practical for quick execution. I like the challenge of working within a smaller space; it forces me to focus on the essentials and not get lost in too much detail.


5) Personal final criticism.

Now, here’s where I get a bit introspective. As always, I want to share my modest analysis of the result with you. The lack of a large canvas pushed me to paint in a rough and troubled way, which, in a sense, adds to the rawness of the piece. Overall, I like the drawing, but I feel like this is just a version, or rather a trial. I hope one day I can recreate it on a larger format, where I can really dive into the details and expand on the emotions I wanted to capture.

Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. You always have such insightful feedback, and it really helps me see my work from a different perspective. Thanks for always being there to listen and share your thoughts. Let’s catch up soon, maybe over a cup of coffee, and talk more about art and life.

Take care,

Jean-luc.

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