Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Studio Footage: The Funnest Painting Ever!

This is the first painting of the rest of my life--
Stay tuned for future updates...this will be interesting!


As of early September, 2013:
The decision has been made to paint the background of this painting red with a transparent glaze of Alizarin Crimson.  Going over these gray-greens will darken the ground considerably and make the figure stand out. 

Next, a spin off project:  Create a painting using this painting as subject matter.  I'm going to use a couple of the hay canvases...See the post entitled, "A Painting of a Painting."
Today I attempted to flip the dried hay mat painting--OMG!

And the finished product is not very heavy--the grommets embedded along the top edge should be able to hold the suspended work...the next experiment.  I'll let it dry for a few more days with this side up and then see about hoisting it up!

I couldn't be more pleased with the success of this project.  More are on the way!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Studio Footage: The Origins of Large Scale Abstract Art

The beginnings of new multi-panel paintings
Here's the next step in the process:
More to follow!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Favorite Book, "CVJ: Nicknames of Maite D's and Other Excerpts from Life" by Julian Schnabel, 1987

This book is FUNNY!  Julian Schnabel's early autobiography is full of laughs:  his conversations with art critic, Clement Greenburg are hysterical; his comments during a Q&A concerning 3rd generation Abstract Expressionist, Jules Olitsky, late night sessions in the studio and the beginning of the famed plate paintings are surprising and delightful.

Young Schnabel's surfing experience in Texas re-surfaces in the seemingly non sequitur imagery of his early movie, "Basquiat".  Seen through the perspective of his own personal history, footage of the surfer depicts the stages of his friend Jean-Michel Basquiat's career in a touching and chilling manner:  dropping into a great breaking wave...later riding it, then wiping out, and finally  late in the movie the empty waves roll in....

Richly illustrated with the good, the bad and ugly it is also a fun read, being blog-like in its brevity and humor.

This is "Portrait of God" by Julian Schnabel, oil and wax on tarpaulin, 9' x 12', 1981 from the series, "Mutant King Paintings", one of my favorites from the book.  It's just so weird...I never noticed, but it looks like a cross image at the bottom of the left hand figure....

I bought this book second hand in Washington, DC in 1988 for $20.   Amazon wouldn't let me write a review so I thought I'd put it up on jamesthatcherarts.   It makes me miss the '80's. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Taking It When It Happens

I come home after dark from fishing, clean my catch and then it hits me: 
The painting that I’ve been chipping away at doesn’t need the whites re-worked; the darks need to be pushed!  It’s already 10:30 pm, but it was clear what to do and how to do it.  Into the night I pressed.
It was nothing heated, nothing spontaneous (except the vision while cleaning fish), and nothing passionate (except seizing the moment); just working the darks.  This brought definition to the image and broadened the tonal range.

Then I re-worked the whites.

I was in bed by 1:30 am and pleased.  Feeling like an artist again—not because of the hour (well, maybe...), not because of the results (possibly...) but because of seeing what to do and doing it.  I love having a studio at home because you don’t know when art is going to strike.
This morning I studiously avoided looking at last night’s work as I turned on the lights and straightened up.  Then…

YES!  It isn’t done, but it’s so much cleaner.  The next few steps are set, again clarifying the whites (bottom left corner)—who knows from there?

A Little Background

This painting is on top of a canvas from 1980--you can see some of the original painting in the right breast area (an eye).  In 1998 I took primer over the background to block out the figure, and rendered the dress in furnace cement. 

15 years later I added the border--while repainting the white last night, I noticed how good the blue painters tape looked with the warm palette.  I imagine using blue oil pastels to draw that line around the border.