"Claudia" - Acrylic on Canvas. 24x30 inches. Painted 2007 by Matt Cauley / Iron-Cow

This painting was an early entry into a series of paintings that would focus on summer heat. I envisioned an ongoing collection of works taking place in various parts of the south, during the middle of a heat wave, in places where the air conditioning wasn’t working. The paintings would treat the subjects as outlaws, on the run, or fun characters trying to make it through day to day. The summer heat series would eventually evolve into more of a Southern Dixie-Fried motif, so I held this painting back in case I wanted to include it with a different series.

Flash forward a few years, and I began to realize I had a substantial body of work around the studio that had yet to be unveiled to the public. This piece, though, always stumped me a bit. I had originally planned on having a neon glow creeping in from off camera, and maybe have some take-out Chinese food containers scattered on the floor. I wanted the scenario to be this woman on the run, plopped down on a bed watching late-night tv in a gritty motel room. I never got around to adding in all those flourishes, and looking at the piece with fresh eyes now, I’m glad I didn’t. I think it would have complicated the image, and there is a more subtle approach to the story as it stands now.

At this point, I’m focusing more on portrait painting and exploring a more natural palette, but I’ll always have a soft spot for these bright vibrant works. They were fun and adventurous for me, and represent a time when I was still transitioning from an illustrative approach to painting.

Special thanks to Claudia for actually putting up with me saying “It’s almost finished” for close to 5 years. Who would have thought it was finished all this time?

Acrylic on canvas
24 x 30 inches
Painted 2007 by Matt Cauley


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