I've been busy painting a wide range of subjects this month, among them a self portrait, and also a herd of zebras. I also painted a few that I will not be posting. I found out that my favorite method of working is to paint first in gesso, then paint over with acrylics, and then finally paint in oils. The zebra picture is still at the acrylic stage, but I am making more changes than the two other pictures below. I don't work from source material for the most part-- not directly. I will draw a while and then maybe look, study, and remember. I don't believe in copying photographs. I loath the practice. I told someone that I used video as a reference. This is more true than photo stills. In a way, I like to watch lots of video of the subject I am doing. Watching live models is much better. Now why? Because I feel that copying a photograph is pointless to art. Since the dawn of photography (Which I studied in college at UNM) art changed because if you want something to look exactly like something, you might as well take a photograph. Well, I tend to prefer somewhat realistic art. I also think that artists should be highly skilled. But I share the thought that if you want photography, then get a camera. It is a rather special skill to be able to draw something as you see it. I think artists should not blow away the fundamentals of drawing. Unless they aspire to fine-fine art, in which case, they can toss pigs fetuses in formaldehyde and starve dogs, which to me is less than art, and more like lunacy.
I think that it is tragic that young art students are basically taught to draw from photographs instead of life. I once watched an art student basically transfer the advertisement photos from a glamor mag into her sketch book. It was silly. Why do that? I see such "neat" drawings -- perfect in every way-- on a well known artist's message board I go to. So neat because they are traced from photos the artists just down loaded. I actually should not have used the word "artist" in that last sentence.
Zebras (unfinished)40X40. I wanted to do some monochromatic (or nearly monochromatic) paintings, as I did with the unfinished Giselle picture I posted earlier.
Self Portrait 16X20 (I am unusually cruel to myself)
I'd been thinking of my inability to get my measurements right-- I mean "exact." I have always had this strange "warped" style.
Here are a few earlier pictures where, I think, you can see same type of style.
Snail (colored pencil)Done from life
Nautilus (colored pencil) Done from a frozen specimen, and photos
Next month (August) I start another sculpture.
Monday, July 11, 2011
I've had pretty good luck painting water. Some times it is not "exactly" correct. Here are a few paintings done over the last few years. I tend to think of these paintings as "semi" abstracts. The actual subject matter exists in the subjective world, so I am still painting in a figurative way, but the subject is ephemeral-- so ephemeral that in a sense, I need to pick and choose what details to actually use (well, that is a normal art thing). The 3 top paintings have all sold so I do not have any decent pictures. The last one is a new direction I am plotting. I am just "practicing" bubbles now, so this one is just a learning tool, but think I will make some large and very detailed paintings of this sort.