The Duel

As a young artist I went through a phase of fascination with the form of the triptych, but struggled to execute. Completing a three year long project before starting this one convinced me I could go back to being ambitious in my art again. After about six months of work, I completed all three of these 32 inch by 40 inch monsters.

When I start a project I generally have some sort of broad story in my head as to what it is about, but nothing fully baked. I like to discover it as I go along as I compensate for the mistakes I make along the way. It is probably my favorite part of painting, pivoting when I did something I didn’t intend. It’s that same mindset that lets me be both a perfectionist and accepting of small failures.

In the beginning, I was only intending on doing the red panels you see affixed to the bottom of each panel. I had purchased those paper boxes years ago and wanted to make either a stations of the cross-style piece, or three triptych. After I finished the first one, the rest of the piece just kind of came together as I expanded the scope after I realized the source I was tapping into opened up some doors to the possibilities.

All three boards together.


The blue board is probably my favorite as I think the color combinations work best.


The red board contains the locket I painted a portrait on. The woman is the sister of the two brothers who are fighting each other over the cause of her death.


The green board was tough to paint. Green isn’t an easy color to work with in this style, I have learned on several projects.


The first board is still the strongest in my mind.


This board has the locket attached to it, which I think works nicely.


I never really resolved in my head if the one brother finished the other brother. I like the mystery.

Photos by Gavin Morrissey.