Friday, April 26, 2013
This little French Bulldog is a "sculptural painting." I am basically working the painting as though it is very low relief, working in two colors, a cool and a warm, as well as black and white.
Same Painting, different artistic philosophy... I am working on a mold right now, and will post shortly, in the meantime, I have a few painting works in progress. I still do not think I am much of a painter, and I am not being falsely modest. I just don't know how to do it, other than keep adding crazy "layers" often in weird colors. I seem to know nothing more about color theory other than if it is blue, it recedes, and if it is orange it moves forward. Other than that, I don't have any idea what I am doing. Below is the painting the first time I did it. It is truly awful. I used all the oranges, and worked in large blocks. Bad. I took some turpentine and rubbed the image off, and wondered if I could salvage the canvas. It sat in a corner for a week looking like the big waste of money that it was. All week, while working on other things, I thought about what it was that I had done wrong. Finally, I realized it was because I had been trying to paint like a painter, and I did not know how to do that. I woke up suddenly the day before yesterday and told myself that I could salvage the painting if I painted like a sculptor. (Yes, I had a dream. Dreams have a big part to do with the life of an artist). I was not too sure what that meant, but I had been somewhat successful as a painter only when I kept my color pallet very minimal, and really paid attention to the "topography" of the piece. So, I put the destroyed painting back on the easel, and started to paint like I figured a sculptor would. It is not done yet, but the result is way different than the painting above, and it is really starting to "pop" out of the canvas, even though it is in very light pastel hues. There you go, you can see the difference, can't you? What is going on here? My theory is that I have switched to a different "mode" of execution. I am still the same person, but I expect something different from myself. My expectations are the difference between the two pictures above. I need to get a psychologist to explain this to me.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Well, this is the best I can do. As you can see, the tail, the horns and the ears have been removed for molding. I will make a few last minute checks and then start the mold. This cow has been through a few changes. I just keep changing it until it has the certain "cow-ness" that I am looking for. It is almost like "you know it when you see it." There is no real standard. I think that is why they call it an art. These views are of the final form. A few things about the measurements changed. The placement of the shoulder girdle and the length of the neck. I also remember a cowboy's statements about long horns, that "they do not hurry anywhere." In honor of that statement, I made the cow plod along, and just swing her head out slightly toward the viewer. Little known facts about long horn cattle is that the females and castrated males (steer) have the longest horns, not the bulls. The horns come in all types and sizes, though this will be the massive "curly-twisty" type. I have the horns in a mold where I will cast them in epoxy so I can sand them to a fine finish and then make a second mold out of the silicon I normally use. The "editing" work that an artist (even a sculptor) does is similar to the editing work that a writer does. Here is a view of the earlier iterations or versions of the cow, if you have not kept up with this blog. The first iteration was good but much chunkier and really not my style: I could not really use this kind of cheap school clay. This is the second iteration. I had the head thrown way back and thought it looked overly dramatic, though cows can indeed throw their heads back this far. After a while, I saw that more restraint was needed to convey the calm mellow personality of these massive animals.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
I keep going from "I'll never paint again" to, "I'll paint three paintings a week." It is kinda silly really. I like painting, but want to sculpt more. Never the less, the economy has made me think that I should not give up painting, since painting is a lot easier to sell than sculpture. Hence I told myself that I would work to finish up the sculptures I have started so far this year, and will go on to create some more oil paintings for sale in smaller galleries. So, I ordered 40 small canvasses, and am working to stretch a few large ones. This time around I am going to do big, bright, bold and hopefully more modern style paintings. Another "rule" I am using is to try to finish the smaller painting in no more than 2 days (the 2 days do not have to be sequential.) The bigger paintings can take as long as one week, but only one. This has been one of my major flaws as an artist. I work in little drips and drops. I think I got used to that when I tried to steal a little moment here, a half hour there to do my art. I need to really put my nose to the grindstone and work full days on these paintings. I am pretty sure that the smaller ones will be sold on ebay or another art site, while the larger ones will be for sale in brick and mortar galleries.
Well, here is a sample of my cow painting. As I said, I wanted them bigger, bolder, more modern than I have so far done. 30X30 inches -- so it is a pretty big piece.