Sunday, November 29, 2009

In the Sketch

Size the paper. Dust the pastels. Cut the friskets. Render the surface. Digitize the image. Adjust for contrast.

What is it? It is like a poem that means nothing, and, everything, all at the same time. It is the sketch.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Office Phantasm Realized

The latest work, “Office Phantasm” is signed and completed, and yes, it is a good feeling!

Picasso said something to the effect that as you begin a piece, you must be on your guard against early infatuations, that is, with images that emerge in the creative process. He counsels against saving and honoring these images, and advises that they be “destroyed”, buried deep, yielding ever richer, stronger results in the process. The work above is a case in point.

I started this work quite a while ago, perhaps going on nearly a year. As the work progressed, I hoped to keep portions of it, here and there, which I found most pleasing. However, I could not seem to flesh out the entire piece based around saving these incongruent parts, and truly, in retrospect, they seemed somewhat anemic. The frustration gave way to boldness with some ninety per cent of the painting covered over with layers of gesso, paint and collage. In the end, all that I initially sought to save and maintain was layered under, with newer, bolder and more cohesive images emerging. The work became fully realized; images, themes and all.

The creative process here was a very satisfying and rewarding adventure, with much to ponder and learn, about myself, in the completed work.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Office Phantasm

I am closing in on finishing another work, shown above. When it is dry enough to hang it on the wall, I will decide if it is in fact completed. There may be yet a few finishing touches to do, I am not quite sure. At the very least, I will probably touch up the edges with color, or a fresh coat of gesso.

The canvas frame is home made, and quite deep at 1.5”. I don’t think this painting will ever have a frame on it. With such a deep edge, I was able to move the two rear frame supports well back of the canvas surface, which is a big plus for me. I am not exactly a delicate painter. I am, in fact, a bit physical with the canvasses at times. Sometimes as I work, I tend to press through to the support bars in the rear, leaving paint impressions on the front of the canvas which I loathe. At those times I have to reach around to the rear and press the canvas forward, aggressively working the front with brushes or rags to remove any unwelcome traces of those impressions left by the wood. I am tempted to make more of my own canvas frames, because this one turned out solid as a brick, not to mention, that I can have total control of the size of the finished work.

As for the content of the painting, I think I may be working out some unresolved feelings with respect to my work-life. I may have some feelings that I don’t know where to put, but, at least I can put them on a canvas. For me, there is something reminiscent of Goya here, and that has to be a good thing.

I think it was Isadora Duncan who said that, under no circumstances is it for an artist to judge their own work. That is for others to do. What a relief! The only judgment that I need to make is whether or not to hang the work on my wall. If I want to see the painting every day, well, that says something.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Architectural Refresh, Part 3

Architectural refresh, with a touch of color, and, fun.