In an effort to motivate and challenge myself as well as to share and show my work with others in (almost) real time, I will post here, every Monday by 11:59 PM, one new piece created that week (allowing myself two weeks off for my honeymoon). When the calendar rolls over to 2011 I will have posted a total of 50 pieces. Whew! No time to chat, gotta get to work!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Week 30. "Sympathy" 18"x24" oil on canvas

This weeks painting, "Sympathy" and last weeks painting, "Persimmon" are both 18"x24". That's quite a bit smaller than the 30"x40" or 36"x48" that many of the paintings I've posted here so far have been. With the larger canvas sizes I always begin with sketches that I later enlarge on to the painting surface. What the smaller canvas size I'm more comfortable planning the composition right on the canvas itself. This makes the process much more intuitive and immediate. So when I started "Sympathy" and "Persimmon" I sat down in front of the blank canvas and made a few lines in pencil and built on whatever came out. I had very little or no preconceived idea of what the figures themselves would be (although I did have a very clear idea of the colors I would use). For an artist like myself who often has a very clear and precise vision in mind of what the final painting will look like before even beginning it is very frightening to just start with a line or two, go one step at a time and trust that the final product will be worthwhile. A film maker friend of mine told me a story once about Salvador Dali. To tap into his subconscious he would hold a wooden spoon in one hand while painting. When he would start to fall asleep the spoon would fall the sound of the spoon hitting the floor would wake Dali up and immediately he would start painting again. I'm not interested in depriving myself of sleep to tap more deeply into my subconscious. However, I do think that, as an artist, I need to find ways of silencing the whirring gerbil wheel in the head and just express whatever needs to be let out. Planning a little less and working more directly is, for me, a step towards "getting out of my own way" and letting a more of my subconscious seep out.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Week 29. "Persimmon" 18"x24" oil on canvas

I was seeing the color in my mind's eye. It wouldn't leave me alone. I had to do something with that color. Anything. But, somehow, someway it had to be put down on canvas and made to really pop! So that's what this week's painting is about. A color. A few minutes ago, as I began to think about naming the painting, I realized that that color is persimmon. Even if nothing else interesting happened in this picture I'd be happy just because I got the color out of me and on to the canvas. But other interesting things did happen. Ah... the triangles! No, not the obvious triangles. If the viewer were to block out everything and see only the woman's skin, her face and neck, they would be seeing a triangle. If all the viewer were to see was the fabric of the woman's clothing that also makes a triangle. Then there's the other half of the canvas, also a triangle, which is made up of the persimmon background. And yes, there are many small triangles. But we can't stop there. The shape of the woman's nose and the shape of the back of her neck where it meets her neckline echo each other as if she's going in two directions at once. The shape of her forehead and bust are also very similar. There are repeating shapes all over the place! Plus, there is texture all over the place. There is movement all over the place. And last but not least there is the color persimmon. Can you almost taste it? I wish you could see the real thing. Sometimes it takes weeks for me to fully digest one of my own paintings and then I can start appreciating it. Sometimes the payoff comes right away. I finish and I love it. It doesn't happen often. It's great when it does.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Week 28. "Slaves" 30"x40" oil on canvas

the Slave’s Mantra

I can tell that you think you’re more important than me
but I know that’s not true
because I know I’m more important than you.

I live in a better country
I go to the proper church
I have much more money
and went to a better school.

Every time I see you you get in my way
and I have things to do, so move,
because I know I’m more important than you.

I’m obviously more intelligent
and certainly more refined
I drive a better car
and this should be recognized.

I can tell you think you’re more important than me
but I know that’s not true
because I know I’m more important than you.

I’ve been told I should love my neighbor
as much as I love myself
but you really don’t deserve it
so I’ll make you suffer and keep my love on the shelf.

I can see you laughing and having fun with your friends
your acting like you love them
but you don’t even notice me.

Sometimes I hear a small voice that I can usually ignore
saying everyone is as important as me
and I’m the one that’s enslaved
when all I consider is me.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Week 27. "A Fifth Fool" aka "Cry Fool, Cry" 18"x24" oil on canvas

"A picture, it is worth a thousand words (at the very least)"... says me.