One of the two
Working two paintings at the same time and considering starting a third. I have such enthusiasm when I start a painting and as I have to be more specific in the details everything has to slow down. The beginning soundtrack is speed metal, then be-bop jazz, and finally Pink Floyd. At least if you did a soundtrack for filming my process. Unfortunately mixing it live, sometimes your brain isn't ready to calm down from all the adrenaline of blocking things in.
Yesterday's soundtrack was the Yankees game and sports radio. Last night it was a mixture of baseball and Miles Davis. I should be moving on to Pink Floyd soonly!
Drawing to painting but just drawing.
In the interest of doing more drawing before painting so I keep looking forward to finishing the painting as opposed to going through the motions by the end because I've been staring at it so intensely for so long. I think that is why my images start getting more complicated. They usually evolve from start to finish.
Trying to use the principle of using the white graphic dots to betray the illusion of space that is painted but instead of the dots, they're lines.
I continue to be disappointed with Moleskine. I wish I had been buying their sketch books when I first discovered them. I really loved the paper then. I think about six years ago something changed. The paper became softer and less able to handle the abuse from drawing. Cache seems to have picked up the formula Moleskine used to have but their paper seems a little thinner, but it's close. I haven't used Moleskine for a few years but decided to try a sketch book out again. It's OK, but I still remember how good it once was. This is a pencil drawing in my Mole.
Just as I was getting to a good stopping point on this at the bar at the end of a few beers I had the idea of putting the face on Mars on the ground below the figure. I guess the lighting struck a memory? Anyway, the real thing I'm trying to figure out is what to make the ground out of. I don't mind putting fabric in there, I think that can be a useful way to help a composition or reinforce the light source. But what are the wires and pipes coming out of? What holds them together? Other things to figure out are to consider if gravity applies in this world (I tend to think of it as a suggestion) or if it's under water? I borrow objects and effects from the real world as reference points so the viewer will be able to use to understand the other elements that might not exist.
Interesting meetings. I was talking to a new friend recently. We were remembering Heavy Metal magazine from the 80's. I was just a kid when it was coming out then. I didn't have the cash to see the movie when it came out, but I would occasionally get the magazine. I had a friend who was the most fascinating person in the world to me in 1983.
His name was Phil. He was your stereotypical antisocial trench coat wearing creepy artist type. Actually, he wore a business suit jacket. He was a year or two older than me but didn't drive. He would walk or take the bus. I thought he was super cool although looking back, he was probably the main guy all the kids picked on. He had a distaste for anything "commercial", or mainstream. No one understood we were looking at the world without a filter. It took me several years before I could see the world he did. Over time it's easy to have the filter on again and it's always a struggle to be aware when it's there.
Phil exposed me to non comic code comics. The stuff parents feared. Heavy Metal, Epic, Comix, and reprints of Zap started shaping me. I always wanted to illustrate these stories. I had my own stories in my head but never knew any writers I could learn from. Phil wrote his own strange stories. They were personal and really tripped out.
So remembering early Heavy Metal. I drew a few Ran Xerox things.
Painting again and again
Critical point in this painting. Still fighting my natural urge to use every color I have in the painting. My original vision for it was to have this warm glowing figure almost floating in this dark scary environment.
I am exploring what I began in the last group of paintings for my Last Rites show. Painting to create the illusion of space but then messing with it to cause a conflict between eye input and brain interpretation. The desired result is to create a more than real affect of depth. The flat white shapes show the surface of the canvas. The figures and objects are rendered with perspective and consistent light sources. Both of these things are turned in to two separate concepts for interpretation in the brain. They come from two different places. My idea is that this creates a compound image that the brain has to combine in to a new, more complex image. The resulting conclusion the brain makes is this image is more extreme.
Sketches of ideas
Trying to advance this world I've loosely created. Or at least explore it. I like the idea of not showing a ground. Most of the figures I use are on steps or some sort of platform. Actual ground is still an ambiguous thing. I like how it gives the feeling that nothing is secure. Kind of a feeling that nothing is permanent. This one sort of hints at the ground.
Opening at MF Gallery
213 Bond St.
JUNE 15, 6-10pm
Please look over the Prints page and get them all.
Have a good Easter/Passover or month.
Now is a good time to commission a portrait or purchase some physical art for the winter!
If you'd like to commission me for a painting... Portraits with my surreal aesthetic only. The face you have and my paint brushes! Estimated turnaround 3 months. Shorter will cost more. Contact me now.
Last Rites Gallery 325 W. 38th Street, between 8th & 9th Ave, NYC: (212) 529.0666
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