"Emotional Trifecta" - Artist Statement

This piece was based on depicting three emotions in three separate panels. When I first thought about this project, I started doodling cartoon faces in various notebooks and various scraps of paper. I eventually took those doodles and transposed them into Corel Painter XI. So, I had some simple faces (specifically, a mad face and a sad face), but I needed something more.

So, when I first looking for ideas for this, I immediately thought of the epic battle in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, which took place in a chaotic and violent environment filled with liquid death--namely, lava flows. The unique fiery colors and the fluid motion of lava has always appealed to me, so I figured it was the best place to begin. So, I started with a black background and splashed some red, orange and yellow streaks on the digital canvas. After I got the basic form of the crashing wave, I blurred and smudged all the colors together. The result was actually pretty good.

So, then I was stuck. What else could I do? Then I remembered the Alfred Hitchcock film "Vertigo," and the scene where the main character was "falling" into a tunnel. I made a similar tunnel using the same techniques as with the lava. At first I didn't plan it, but somehow, I got the flow of the swirl to match up with the edge of the wave of lava. So now the two panels flowed together nicely. I then went ahead and completed the medusa-type angry fury and the "freaked-out" face for the vertigo panel.

Next, I went looking for ideas for a "sad" or melancholy panel. I was browsing through my collection of jpgs and I came across a crashing wave. I liked it and thought it would be a challenge to duplicate using the methods I had used on the previous two panels (which it was--it to the most amount of time out of all three panels). So then came the challenge of making it look "sad". I then thought of the constant rain in Utica during my stay there, and added a rain effect on top of the crashing wave of water.

The final result turned out pretty well, considering it was my first attempt at using a digital paint program. Someone recommended that the final print didn't really need the faces for representing the intended emotions for each panel, so I gave it a shot and removed them. You can see the result in version 2 of the "Emotional Trifecta".

As for the oddball title, the project itself was simply named "triptic," and being a writer of a sort, that phrase didn't sound right to my ears when used as a title. So I just played with some words a little bit and arrived at the current title of the piece. Hope you enjoy it!

~ Adam Deutschmann, December 2005