William Woodward’s Seven Deadly Sins
Connie Sprague for The Fauquier Citizen (March 1995)
“The whole thing is, don’t use a pig,” says Woodward, explaining why he chose the rotund [elephant] for his depiction of Gula (gluttony). “Avoid stereotypes or it will look banal and sophomoric.”
The vivid, rich and complex paintings in Woodward’s current project are anything but banal.
For the last year, the internationally-known artist has focused on the Seven Deadly Sins: lust, anger, greed, pride, gluttony and sloth, in order to create a suite of eight paintings – including an introductory, stage-setting image – to illustrate “the human condition at the end of the millennium.”
Once he has roughed in the light areas, the artist adds color, starting with “a beautiful vermillion,” then a layer of opaque pink, which will be followed at a later stage with a transparent glaze. “The result is a like a chord in music,” he explains. “It’s the same note but richer.”
“The most important question is: Why am I painting this? Why is this important? Or to find in it some force majeure – some overriding thing – so it’s not just a mindless recording of what’s there.”William Woodward
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