Sunday, October 17, 2010

I've been thinking a lot lately about how to articulate my thought process as I assemble a painting.

My paintings begin when I step into a space, or see a person, know that they are going to be important--at least to me--and snap a picture of them. I store these images, often over years, before I eventually collect other people, objects, and spaces, that somehow go with the earlier image--that complicate and complete it. In some ways it feels like I'm bringing the inevitable together, following clues on my way to solving an enigma. In other ways, it's spontaneous and hundreds of the images I keep will never find mates or be used for anything.

I patch the images together in photoshop, making a digital "rough draft" to reference once I start painting. I'll address issues like harmonizing colors and unifying light sources (here a problem is evident in the reflected light on the concrete floor) when I get to them in the painting process.

Having gotten to this point, I'll let them stew for a week or so, looking at them daily, making sure there isn't a need for other elements that might add something important, give them additional layers of interest and meaning. This one on the bottom, especially, I might try and expand--give a long horizontal format and add additional figures closer to the foreground. Sometimes it's hard to know when enough is enough, and when enough is just being lazy.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A collaborative drawing is a good thing, sometimes, for fresh perspective.

My nieces Rachel and Bethany were instrumental in this piece, a rendering of the hitherto unknown Wild North American Snorty Duck/Pig.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

One of the fun things about having to defend art you've made, is having to articulate why you made certain decisions while making it. You have to think about those decisions more deeply than when you made them in the first place. Maybe you start to become aware of things you were doing subconsciously.

While cataloging artist influences in preparation for my MFA public talk at the end of the month, I'm finding it interesting to see how I've borrowed from other artists' compositions without ever having realized I was doing so. Here's one example: my piece, Hull, followed by Raphael's School of Athens...

...and a Hull detail, alongside an image from The Picture Bible (illustrated by Andre LeBlanc).

Saturday, October 2, 2010

So, the thesis show hanging and opening came and went. Last-minute prep happened: Katy helped me paint the walls...

I painted in the show's signage....

Fred, Lauren and I hung the work and adjusted lights...

Fred baked about 300 cookies....

(This batch was green tea / cardamom)

And then it was time to enjoy the music, and hug everyone I know! Attendance was great and it was really touching to see everyone.

Thanks to everyone who came, and to everyone who wanted to come but couldn't. Your support means a lot, and made this a joy!

Friday, October 1, 2010