Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Channeling de Kooning

Here's the results of my experiment in painting an unabashedly de Kooning-esque painting.

I think that I like the earlier stages better. All that dense paint and brushwork that comes later on clogs the visual flow of the painting. I wonder if it might be worthwhile to hit it again and try to clear up some of the congestion. At any rate, it was a good experience.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

How to be a drawer

I've been making quite a few graphite on paper studies of male models that I found in a fashion photography book and I'm not sure what I want to do with them. I was hoping it would lead me to figure out how to incorporate drawing into painting. Seems as though it as only solidified how separate I feel these two mediums to be.
A drawing is like a thought made visible. It is a measurement of an observation. It is an unfiltered response to the perceived world. It can also be a diagram, a working out of thoughts in visual terms. Drawing can be many things actually, some might argue that drawing is everything, but I digress.
What a drawing can't do compared to painting is have a solidity, a weight (at least I haven't solved that problem yet). A drawing doesn't smell like a painting. A drawing doesn't have the same object/presence as a painting on canvas. A drawing doesn't have the same body/motion of a painting.
Maybe it's good for me to keep them separate as perhaps they are filling different creative needs. It is certainly much sexier to say I'm a "painter" and not a "drawer." I might get confused with a piece of furniture. (ba-dum)

Looking at them now, I can see that they need some kind of context. Or maybe an context that is unusual or unforeseen? hmm . .  .

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The search for imagery

In my efforts to find some new imagery for paintings, I thought I would try to make some small collages and see where that takes me. (they aren't getting a lot of love on IG right now :() I like the juxtaposition of incongruous fragments of found images. There's something very Modern about that and I think that's something I'd like to explore.
Below are some samples

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

In memori-mom.

The second anniversary of my mother's death just passed so I felt it was a good time to talk a little bit more about the series of drawings I did last semester that were about her.

What I wanted to do was to create a large graphite drawing on paper (6 feet by 4 feet) using the various photographs and images of my mother that I had found around my apartment. I started doing small studies from the photographs (like above) and found myself getting very emotional. At some points just looking at her image overwhelmed me. Feelings of loss and sorrow. At times elation and a feeling of release. There was more repressed emotions then I had realized inside me about my mother's death.

At other times I reminded myself that I had issues with my mother being controlling and found that it was good to let out this frustration. I had a chance to practice my new-found interest in collage by scanning a few of the studies, printing them out, and then pasting them together. I had decided that this would be the basis for the larger image.

As I was coming to terms with the remembrance of my mother (still ongoing) I remembered that she was also a person; with virtues and failings like the rest of us. In coping with her death, I had built her up in my mind as a kind of saint. A natural response to losing a loved one.
As I worked on the piece and workshopped it with my prof and classmates, it struck them that the larger version of the collage was lacking a certain spark that the studies had. My prof suggested I continue to push the larger drawing by trying to take it beyond an enlarged study but also to incorporate the studies in the finished presentation. He said that what was most interesting about my work was the way in which I work through an image; the "final" product falling kind of flat. I thought that was particularly acute of him. I interpret that observation as a piece of art being open or closed. If it is open, it is open to interpretation by the viewer, it leads to other thoughts and feelings. A closed piece is to be read in a specific way and has an air of presentation about it.

I learned a few valuable things last semester.
a) find a way to keep your art open
b) displays of skill are off-putting, show the struggle behind it (based on fellow student comments)
c) nothing is ever really "finished"

Which brings me to this thought: When we lose someone we love, we never really get over them. We just learn to live life without them.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A nice de kooning above the couch

I found a youtube video produced by MoMA about how to paint like de Kooning. I found it very interesting and want to try it for myself.

I'll post work in progress shots as I go this following week.