Music sure can get you in the mood. To paint! To paint! It can probably get you in the mood to do other things but that's not what this blog entry is about. This blog entry is about what music gets me in the proper mind frame to start working. For the most part I lean towards ethereal/ambient sounding music, it seems to get the juices flowing. It isn't always the case, though. Sometimes something absolutely jarring does the trick, gets the brush dancing. Here are the Top 5 musicians which are in heavy rotation at the moment.
Portrait of Jean-Paul Sartre 12 x 12 Mixed media on panel
I'm excited to be participating in my first solo show at Launchpad Gallery, a gallery dedicated to emerging artists. I've been working non-stop for about two months on the show and have completed nearly twenty works for the show! I think I've got at least three left in me.
The shows title, "The Wall & Other Paintings", is a riff on a book of collected short stories by Jean-Paul Sartre. I chose the title mostly for the protagonists dialog during the course of the story The Wall, whose focus is their untimely execution the following morning and the ramifications of facing certain death. Other elements pertinent to the story are littered throughout the show, wartime imagery, communication, alienation..
The opening reception is November 4th, 2011 from 6 PM - 12 AM. Jedadiah Bernards will be also be playing for a portion of the evening!
This is another series I'm exploring, central themes being groups of men and water. The series started out as swimmers floating in space, evolving into a means of exploring group psychology, and is now evolving further, I guess into nebulous realms, at least I hope so.
I don't know what the paint means anymore, it use to be a tool to achieve photo-realism but I find that less and less (and less) appealing as times goes on. Now it seems like a tool for experimentation and I am concerned about the variability of paint, thick/thin, washes and gobs of paint, brush strokes..
Part of an ongoing exploration of airplane bombers. They are ominous, powerful bits of metal and screws flying through the sky heralding widespread destruction with the click of a button. Sometimes I think about things while painting: with this painting the airplane became a symbol of technological advancement as means of destruction of those less technologically advanced. If I didn't have such a penchant for history I'd probably be painting robotic weapons.
Some excerpts from a sketchbook on a recent "Urban Hike" with some friends to the Shakespeare Garden in Washington Park. The first sketch is some blind contour drawings of people who came to the park to view the gardens, it was amazing how many people occupied the space in the 15 - 20 minutes that spanned the drawing (temporality). The second is some Jewish women sad over the deaths of loved ones, with Elmo running around in the background? I guess I haven't tired of gluing trash into my sketchbooks. Oh, trash..
You know you're in Portland when you go to a friends art show and it's at a, uh, museum in a bathtub.
Fun and funky and Janet Julian for sure. You crawl into the bathtub, in the middle of which you stand up in to have half of your upper body in a treehouse-like building where you find the art!
Janet's work is great, it's got a sense of whimsy, maybe absurdity, and it's always a little crazy (in the good way). I imagine Janet in her workspace staring at something wondering how it will be completed and then a light turns on and she runs around looking for something and glues it in place!
Another recurring theme, houses on fire, this time replete with a bunch of men standing around not doing a damn thing. While The World Burns. Some have suggested that the houses on fire are due to an experience in my youth, my family's duplex burned. I guess that could be partially true. The burning houses are about the sense of "home" being lost. I think there are parallels with economic collapse as well, mother nature taking her toll, ..
I don't know if this painting is complete yet. It feels like it's almost there but needs some refinement however I don't want the refinement to come at the cost of the immediacy of the painting. These are the dilemma's one faces!
Say hello to this months obsession, boys in dunce caps! I'm really fond of the way the chalkboard on this painting turned out, love those rapid brush strokes with a bristle brush.
Somebody asked me at last months street gallery show if my paintings were photo-realistic, I said "no" with a wry smile and beamed "they're too messy to be photorealistic!". I then explained my process of drawing out an image with charcoal, painting a sloppy underpainting, refining the underpainting, messing up the painting by making it sloppy again, and then completing the painting with final refinement.
I've been doing some comic strips in my sketchbooks for fun. It's an easy non-commital way to express myself. Rene Rodriguez is partially responsible due to his insistence on napkin drawings at a trashy Chinese food dive a few weeks back so he could submit the drawings for a show.
This is a painting I did for the Facing Fear show at Launchpad Gallery. It's an homage to one of my favorite philosophers, Jean-Paul Sartre. I wanted to capture an existential crises, subtly.
The young boys are caged in a prison (life). They watch a fire, frozen in awe (the fire represents a finite existence, burning however brightly for limited duration). In the background, faintly, soft smoke curls out of a furnace (certain end, a fire goes out as fires do). In summation, they're contemplating their own mortality, death hanging over them.
I did this painting for a friend of mine who, through circumstance, is no longer a friend of mine. After the friendship ended I got to thinking about magic and psychics. Some people talk about psychic residue. Connection. ESP. Ghosts. They all went together in this painting.
This was intended as a study but I believe it's better than the larger piece. I think I'll chuck the larger piece in the trash.