This past spring, I assigned my design students a project to create a poster for a musician or group. The very best project may have been done by a virtual student that I have never met face to face. He created a fantastic poster for Kanye West and I Immediately thought of his song Better, Stronger, Faster from 2007. After allowing the song to bang around in my head, I thought that might be a great approach for a show. I would revisit some of my favorite subject matter and do it better and stronger and faster.

Back in the late seventies, Steve Austin, the Bionic Man, was made better stronger and faster. I thought there also would be ways to improve my fast compositions. I tried to make my color palette brighter and my brushwork faster and hopefully, more interesting in a “Golden Moment.” I increased the size of both the boatlift and sun reflection in “Uplifting” and tried to work more expressively with paint “The Lower Falls of Taughannock.” I thought I would heighten the drama of a favorite bridge by adding a twilight sky over Denison Park.

A World War II painting, once a billboard and jigsaw puzzle, “The Last Embrace,” hangs in my house in our dining room. Over the years, things began to bother me with the painting, notably the figures and the perspective. I have included a few studies and a new version that I hope might be an improvement on the old theme. While I’m not sure if I am faster, it is my hope that these pieces are better and stronger than the pieces that were their inspiration.”

Brian M. Hart