Tuesday, December 22, 2009
A recent enlightenment came from a visit to the Tzar's Green Faberge Egg, the one that has a complete set of family portraits held within it. I had to put on two pairs of magnifying glasses before I was able to see the tiny portraits. I noticed other egg viewers moved right on by the portraits, unable to see them, and unaware that they were passing by some of the most exquisitely rendered tiny portraits in the world. It was much later that I realized I wanted to create art that centered around our capabilities (or lack thereof) in taking note of this very complex and detailed world we live in. Here is one of my first pieces to come out of this study. What we see from afar is different from what we see when looking very close.
Monday, December 21, 2009
"Midnight Edge," the painting below, has brought up an interesting question: What is the best light for a piece of art to be viewed in? This piece actually looks best in a poorly lit room. The dark recedes while the light grays and red pop forward, increasing the sense of movement and excitement. In a well-lit room the contrast is defused. This diminishes the sense of drama and makes the painting more of a design exercise.
I grew up with 26 miles of the wild Pacific Coast as my "long driveway" to civilization. When I painted the following abstract, years after leaving the area, I sat back and laughed at what I'd achieved. Putting the abstract sense aside, this is a pretty accurate description of what it felt like to be an imaginative teenager driving home alone through curvy hills enshrouded in midnight blackness. On the most psychologically brutal nights the blood red headlights in the distance were my only solace that UFOs would not swoop down and whisk me away for evil experimentations. I reasoned that aliens would attack only the complete loners. Of course, this meant I had to try to catch up to cars in the distance ahead....
Thursday, December 17, 2009
The first color I remember drooling over was a yellow color crayon. I used to scribble in one spot over and over and over again, pressing as hard as I could, trying to put on paper the magical world I felt emanated from the crayon. I must have been about 3.
What a fickle kid I was. I quickly forgot yellow and went on to other exciting colors: green, blue, purple, adolescent red. Billions of a-hahs later I find I have once again attacked the yellow question. I can't say that I love yellow as I did back then, but I do find it inspires edgy stories not easily experienced, but well worth traveling into.
"Amusement and an Idea"
I have never gotten along well with words... I tend to mix prefixes up, jumble endings, lose words altogether, etc. etc. In a verbal world this is trouble. In a visual world this creates a lot of fun. It might be similar to an intuitive pulling together of colors for art pieces ~ what feels right ends up being a surprise element of contrast that is often the zap that makes a piece work. It is up to me to catch and try to translate misused words into interesting and meaningful imagery.
(In private collection.)
Monday, November 23, 2009
A Cabbage Head will not Protect You from Insanity.
I think about this guy's hairy skin (all that responsible shaving), his feet sensuously grounded with the earth (ignore that they're dirty), his love of flowing garments (his fashion sense is socially questionable but defiantly self expressive), and his audacity of wearing a cabbage leaf to keep reality at bay.
(In private collection.)
I'm drawing a woman's back with pen & ink and need to put in gray tones. Traditional shading never satisfies me, so I am turning her back into an imagined landscape of hills and valleys. The danger is that she will end up looking tatoo'd ... or that the drawing will be so defined that the viewer will not feel inspired to use his own imagination.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Every day at breakfast I pop an Osmosis Pill, my direct link to taking in a wealth of knowledge about life out there. Of course, this means I also have to clear the sleep out of my eyes, struggle into any number of jackets, and stick my head directly into the force of the wind. I never forget my sunglasses. I admit it, I need the protection.