"An Attempt to Burn John Harris"; 2016, Oil on Canvas, 36 inches(91.44 cm.) in height by 72 inches(182.88 cm.) in width.
Companion Guide Book
HarrisProject is a multi-media experience.
To fully experience this project, listen to the audiobook while viewing the painting and following along with the illustrated companion book.
Buy a copy of the Artist's Research companion guide in eBook, Audible (narrated by the US Open's Andy Taylor) and hardcopy on Amazon, or on Google Play Books for $4.99.
Purchase a Signed Print
Signed artist reproductions of the painting are available for purchase via the PayPal button below, or in the Sales Gallery at the Art Association of Harrisburg.
Project Completed February, 2016
Unveiling HBG City Government Center, February 2016
Showing August 3rd in the Burg and September Gallery Walk 2016 at Historic Harrisburg Association, 1230 N 3rd St, Harrisburg, PA 17102
Phone: (717) 233-4646.
Exhibition June-July Art Association of Harrisburg 2016 Art Student Annual Exhibition
Showing May 15, 2017 through June 25, 2017 in the East Wing Rotunda of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building, and the first week of July for July 4th in the Main Rotunda.
Detail Views of the Finished Work
This painting is large and heavily varnished. It is painted in very thin, transparent layers and as a result no photography can truly ever capture the depth, iridescence, and luminosity of it. The detail is very fine and the brushwork delicate and varied. In certain light, optical effects of depth due to the transparencies make the figures come alive, the stars twinkle, and the structures appear to recede and advance.
Artist Description: 2012
"This will be the first major, in depth, and quite serious undertaking of my career; having, after numerous traumatic and scarring life events, for the past 5 years achieved some measure of stability in the community of Harrisburg. The most recent event being the passing of my father (2009), who on his deathbed suggested that I "paint Indians… something with Indians."
"I had been thinking the same thing after a tour of the most beautiful Pennsylvania State Capitol Building, I had the murals of the history of PA in my mind. To mark an important occasion, as a memorial both to my father and the founders of this country, I picked up what was before me. As I work in the first Governor's residence in PA, now owned by the 80 year-old non-profit Art Association of Harrisburg, this history and opportunity became obvious; it is physically near the point at which John Harris' story allegedly took place, on the Susquehanna River. The importance of this subject, as well as my own constant effort and involvement with the community of Harrisburg to promote my career and work, will surely advance my career and exposure. I conducted extensive research into many aspects of the structure of the 18th century world in a successful attempt to understand and identify stylistic minutiae of dress and behavior of European and Native peoples in the Colonial Period. I have been in contact with many organizations such as the Smithsonian and various universities, as well as the York Museum Trust in England, who have been very helpful in donating their time and expertise at no cost. The Yorkshire Museum also requested a copy of this research to retain in their archives."
A showing of the finished work is scheduled through the Art Association of Harrisburg in Harrisburg City Hall for the spring of 2016.
Stars and stellar formations like the Pleides and the Orion Nebulae added as the background is built up. Simultaneously, development on figures and other elements continues.
Digital presentation: Revised and updated Harris Research and website as part of final review before project execution. Added a section expanding on explanation of choice of color red and prime focal structure of the cloak worn by the rescuing Native. Also added many new images throughout, and various other corrections and additions.
Digital Collage: Combined all reference photos of model shoots and costumes with photographs of the riverbank and river in fall foiliage at sunset into a digital collage to solidify composition, color balance and lighting; sizing and exact placement needs adjustment. After my brief hiatus caused by health issues I had developed by learning and assimilating into the local customs: eating their food, observing and respecting their traditions and habits, trusting their doctors and other professionals; I am now recovering nicely from a near-death situation and hospitalization, wherein I made the mistake of being drugged out of my mind and allowed my phone, I made an attempt to visit the bathroom when my IV caught on the bed, I pressed the nurse-call-button immediately, and while I waited for a long enough period of time to spray blood all over the bathroom before taping up the wound myself and getting dressed, attempting to leave and making it all the way to the front desk in the time it took the nurse to never arrive. During this time period, I was fascinated by the blood-splatter because I enjoy shows such as CSI, and took a picture and posted it to my personal page on facebook for personal record and curiosities sake (I was very high on Aderol). This stirred the hospitals native legal forces to determine that I was attempting suicide, as the nurses made a point of mentioning facebook to explain their right to ignore my rights and proceeded to demand that I volunteer, against threats of some other unmentioned form of coersion, to be locked in the psych-ward for another week against my will and protests- to the tune of $8000.00- for which they call for daily (I am an artist and obviously cannot afford health insurance)! I certainly was not suicidal (overweight and overmedicated yes)! But it was truly the icing on the cake to my experience and study of this subject. I felt as if I was attended to by fear-struck Witch-Doctors attempting to prove my fault in allowing their local medical professionals to lead me to death by over-prescribing seratonin-based anti-axiety medications. I feel that I have gleaned a deep, personal understanding of what the Natives were subject to in this region (and have started a vegetable-protein liquid-diet), from behavioral tendencies still present in this community- a horrifically abusive and disrespectful military-style national center for the institutional assimilation of Natives and African-Americans, was nearby in Carlisle, PA.