Sunday, January 27, 2013

Resurrecting Ghosts

I've spent the rainy weekend resurrecting paintings that have stalled in the studio over the last two years.  Well, I mainly restarted work on "We'll give you a number".  It's hard to say why works stall.  I will be working on them and then just loose the spark somewhere or a commission work comes up that takes precedence and I put them to the side.  Long story short like most artists I have several unfinished paintings that lurk around the studio like ghosts waiting to be resurrected if they're lucky.  This work was intended originally to be the first of a series of five.

Getting the central figure right was pretty much the struggle for the day.  I was petrified that I was going to over work her face.  I'm not convinced that I avoided that, because at one point I scrapped an entire layer of paint off.  I'm content now.  I worked through it.  I think that now that I have her squared away I can finish the painting off without as much struggle.

After this one is finished the other ghosts lurking around the studio will have to wait for their resurrection day.  I can only play Johannes Cabal every once in a while.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Evening Post and Other Things

I finished Evening Post last Sunday morning just in time to deliver it to the gallery.  I dragged my best friend and former college professor along with me.  It was a great opportunity to spend some time talking about art and life.  Funny the older I get the less I feel I know.  I guess the more you know the more aware you become of what exceeds your knowledge.  Also, when I'm alone painting in my studio I have a lot of time to think about the big questions of life.  More often than not I end up dismantling my philosophical beliefs when I realize that they are founded on false assumptions. 

I huge topic of discussion for us was dealing with getting older, attaining or not attaining life long goals, eventual death and the metaphysics of what happens afterwards.  This is definitely a place where the older I get and the more I think about it - the less definitive my assumptions on all the above become.  I was brought up to believe in reincarnation rather than heaven or hell, from a more new age perspective.  I have to wonder these days if the beliefs I was taught when growing up amount to nothing more than a sugar coating meant to make our eventual death an easier pill to swallow.  If life doesn't turn out the way you like it or death comes early - never fear; this was only another read through.  A real-life video game with endless lives to get it right.  

It might be the punk questioning of authority within me, but considering that in India where the concept of reincarnation is a huge part of Hinduism and their political system prior to the English there was a very strict caste system/ class system in place within their society.  I can't help, but wonder if the concept of reincarnation was developed to keep the lower castes/classes from revolting?  I really do want to believe, but I wonder if it's just shying away from the reality that you have to make every moment count.  

In regards to the other cans filled with worms.  I don't really know where to begin.  My mentor maybe unintentionally is teaching me another lesson.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Thermal Cliff

According to the news the other night Arizona was facing a "thermal cliff" with a cold front that is now upon us, but at the time about to blow in.  My studio is rather chilly this evening, but "thermal cliff" is a bit of an exaggeration.

Work continues on "Evening Post".  I have a feeling that I need to increase the lights and darks.  In the original almost everything is cast in the building on the right's shadow.  Sometimes reality doesn't make an interesting painting, so I need to use some artistic license to spice things up.  It's always a question of how far to go.  Maybe the weatherpersons we just using artistic license when reporting the weather earlier this week to spice things up a little.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Another in a series of horizontal city paintings.  I started Post(working title) last week and I'm pushing to have it completed for a delivery up to the gallery this Saturday - fingers crossed.  It's a dynamic piece with a few quirks.  Well namely the fire hydrant.  I debated about painting it out, but decided that if I did the work would loose some authenticity.  I like the fact that it has as much importance as the people within the painting in retrospect.  I am however debating on keeping the police vehicle and trash can on the far right.  I can't decide if those elements frame the piece or distract the viewer's eye.  For the moment I will continue working and make a decision later.  There are times that problems work themselves out on their own.

I have put the night works to the side for the moment.  I have found that the last three day works prior to Post have set up quickly with a sense of urgency and immediacy.  I think of painting a little like surfing.  When the tide is in you surf and your style or mode of surfing depends on the kind of waves you have to work with.  Right now daytime/busy sidewalks are my waves tomorrow's tide my offer something completely different.  Back to surfing.