Much of this work (and much other work) is noted as being 'oil on paper'. The specifics of this method are: the paper is nearly always heavy 240 grain rag printmaking paper, either Rives or Utrecht (I've come to favor Utrecht papers recently). I lay down 3 layers of gesso on the surface with a palette knife and then paint on the gessoed surface. Occasionally I use different papers (like butchers paper or watercolor paper) but always use a solid gesso foundation.
I have been painting, drawing and photographing faces for nearly as long as I have been working. At one point - shortly after college - I realized I wasn't as comfortable with faces as I wanted to be, so I spent the next few months doing nothing but. I obsessively made hundreds of drawings with various media until it was not only something I felt intuitive with but something I could play with. Much of my work involves reducing faces to a minimum of signs - how little can I represent and still have the piece 'read'? How much can I alter or rearrange?
I have found that not only is it nearly impossible - given a minimum of representation - to 'lose' a face but even more importantly, even a face reduced to a few sigils will still offer personality, character, expression. Here's an example of a piece that only 'reads' with a little effort - you have to go pretty far:
The painting above is one of only a few remaining from a series of monochromatic (burnt umber) paintings I worked on between 1991 and 2000. I used many different kinds of marks in these pictures - newspaper rubbings into wet gesso, pencil drawings, fingerprints, and more. One of the inspirations was scribbling and sketches found on 100 year old horsehair plaster walls beneath the wallpaper in my house in Pennsylvania.