Thursday, June 30, 2011

Container vs. the contained

My recent creative meandering has lead me straight back to my most favourite of subjects: the figure. That's not to say that I'm picking up where I left off . . . I've certainly got some new questions I'd like to ask about how to represent the body in paint!  There's this whole notion that our bodies are vessels. Without getting too new-agey, I'd like to explore the notion of being present in the body: being aware of its boundaries, extremities, and physical limits. Conversely, I'd also like to explore how our bodies are not seperate from the space around us. We live and breathe in this atmosphere: we are much more connected to the space around us than we think. I'm not seeking harmony or spiritual centering. What I am seeking is a new way to show the contained presense of the body: the innards, physical mass as it relates to space . . . and how that space permeates the body.
I'm pretty sure this is going to involve digging into the physicality of drawing and painting, but I'm hoping that this may lead me to some insights (and possible creations) of sculpture.
Here's a drawing.
Oil pastel and linseed oil on paper

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Study for Order and Chaos

Study for Order and Chaos, 18" by 24", oil on canvas, 2011

Latest painting.
Thoughts on the duality of order and chaos and how we understand our world.
A simple cube-like shape is placed in an ambiguous space. The light greys of the background seem to "whitewash" a jumble of linear elements (who still manage to peak out through). The cube has a 3-d quality because of the perspective, but it's not a true perspective: it's an axonometric drawing. It also has a flat quality of it which recalls the 2-d of the picture plane. The colours used to represent the top portions of the cube play with the warm/cool effect that colours have on depth perception.
So what does this mean?
There is an underlying chaos to the universe but our minds create systems for us to understand it. More specifically to this painting, the cube is the ideal form to represent order (especially to a guy like me who has a background in design, drafting, lego building, video games, and architecture).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The sweet smell of paint

Dear waterbased paint,
I cracked open my jar of leftover turpentine/linseed oil that I used to clean my brushes today and fell instantly in love! I haven't touched oil paints for over 4 months now. I thought I'd expand my horizons and try something new, but I'm sorry acrylics . . . I just don't think this is working out between us. It's not that there's anything wrong with you, it's just that you dry too fast, get clumpy on my palette, and aren't flexible enough for me. I don't want you to think that the time we've spent together is all for nothing . . . no! It was lovely to be able to work on successive layers without having to wait a day for it to dry. And it was nice not having toxic fumes frying my brain. But yeah, this ghost called Henry. . . I mean oil paint has come back into my life and I believe in my heart of hearts that we are meant for each other.
So . . . welcome to Dumpsville, Acrylic paint. Population: you!
<3 Paintering Pete

Sunday, June 12, 2011

An experiment in drawing

New letterform paintings

Eeyore, 40" by 30", Acrylic on canvas, 2011

Tiggers, 30" by 30", Acrylic on canvas, 2011
Two new paintings. Letter/counter forms. I took passages of text from The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff because I've been thinking about Taoism a little bit lately. Religion and spirituality haven't been big themes in my art but I have a renewed interest in the universe (or Cosmos :). I find the vastness of space and infinate variety of planet and galaxy make-ups intriguing. This relates to my sense of spirituality in that we are all connected in this universe: we have the same atoms that the stars do, we are made of the same stuff.
More specifically, these paintings are an exploration of the space inbetween the letters and lines of text of our printed word. Letters are beautiful because they are forms unto themselves . . . but it's the tension of the space around the letters that these paintings explore. Do the spaces between letters correspond to the vast distances between galaxies? Letters represent words that represent thoughts. What if the words aren't "readable" in a literary sense . . . but more evoked by the counterforms? Or the sense of the flow of text establishes a new way to read the forms? Our brains will no doubt force us to make sense of the portions of words that are visible . . . what will it make of the negative space? The negative space becomes the positive. Figure/ground reversal.
So perhaps these paintings aren't cosmic in their meaning (that might be asking too much of myself lol) but the interelationship of positive and negative shapes reflect our universe's laws of duality.
I'd like to take these paintings beyond the canvas and make sculptural forms aswell! Bring on the jigsaw!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Home oto Work: Drawing

Home oto Work, 18" by 24", gel pen on paper, 2011
An experiment in drawing. I projected a map of Victoria onto my surface and then traced out all the paths (that I could remember) that I've taken from my apartment to work on foot. A macro-drawing.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Seattle is great!

Went on a trip to Seattle over the weekend and aside from having my socks charmed off by Pike Market Square, I was very impressed with the collection at the Seattle Art Museum.
A few pieces of note were:
Some/One, Do-Ho Suh

"Evocative of the way an individual soldier is part of a larger troop or military body, these dog tags swell to form a hollow, ghost-like suit of armor at the center of the room. Whether addressing the dynamic of personal space versus public space, or exploring the fine line between strength in numbers and homogeneity, Do-Ho Suh’s sculptures continually question the identity of the individual in today’s increasingly transnational, global society."

Inopportune, Cai Guo-Qiang

"Ever since September 11th, the idea of terrorism is always on our minds. It’s ever so present. And while car explosions have been around for a long time, they have a heightened sense of reality in our minds. "Inopportune" obviously has a direct reference to these conditions that we live in now. But making an installation that is so beautiful and mesmerizing that also borrows the image of the car bomb already has inappropriateness in it."

And here's some random fun-pics! Such a lovely city! I'll have to go visit again one day soon.

Salted caramel icecream from Molly Moons! slurp

Outside SAM

Pike Market Square

Wall plastered with posters near Po Dog Hot Dogs :)