Monday, April 23, 2012

Eleventh Volley: Updates.

I once saw a Foglio doodle of a snail straining at its shell, going "urrrrrrrr." As if it were trying with all its might to go faster and harder than it was capable. Sometimes I feel like that. Between getting caught up watching episodes of Breaking Bad, The Legend of Korra, and reading various books and anime, I've barely got time to paint. I know, distractions, distractions. Well, that and a full time job. And other jobs. As the late Levon Helm sang once, "I've got more debt than an honest man can repay." Here's a protip, kids: when your school tells you "go ahead, it's good to borrow as much money as you possibly can, because you never know when you're going to need it..." Set them on fire. Many times.

Sigh. What can I say? I was young, poor, and stupid.

So any ways, that has nothing to do with this. Presenting: UPDATES.

I took a formal color theory class recently that taught me how to re examine how I paint. Of course then I had to drop it half way through taking it because life. The idea being that I'll paint quicker, or rather, more efficiently, and thicker. At some point my paintings will be mine, instead of merely aping technique. I'm also working on oiling in, because I'm away from the painting more often than I'm working on it. I've noticed quite a bit of difference when starting back on a painting. It's easier at that point, after oiling, to get a more even spread of pigment, as opposed to building up a wet surface to paint into and move things around with. This thickness without what I'll call cheating (using meglp and galkyd drying agents to create resiny, buttery, plastic-y goodness) is more difficult for me to achieve, and it's something I hope to work through in this painting. I love the way Rembrandt paints, and in Houston; a place I make a pilgrimage to once a year; are two Rembrandt portraits. They are beautiful and I've spent many an hour staring at them. He makes his impasto look so thick, without out actually making it pile up on the canvas. I'd like to have that kind of aggressive delicacy at some point. I've also mentioned Saville and Freud before, but I'll also add Robert Henri and Sargent as masters of a looseness that still manages to create a coherent and luscious image. The masters of the "painterly" method. Painter's painters, if you will.

I'm nowhere near that league. But that shouldn't stop me -- or you, if you're of the creative persuasion, from making things. And I will probably never love ninety nine percent of what I do, but I'll try to learn as much as I can from it while doing it, and afterwards, take those lessons with me.

So the short version of it is: Hooray progress!

More next time. You know, once the framing and house(s) renovating is out of the way.