Sunday, July 1, 2012

Eleventh Volley: Building a Language

First off: Updates.

I'm veering away from my usual earth tones and muddiness to a newer more purple muddiness. In the images I'm working from and trainwrecking together, you have pale skinned folk with white make up and body paint on. It's a challenge for me to get close to believable skin tones, and now there's the difficulty of representing that underneath paint. How meta, I'm painting paint.

In school I read an article on Sargent's struggles capturing Madame X. He is a master of depicting flesh, and the subtleties of flesh tones, and yet, because the Young socialite spent so much time doctoring her appearance, he struggled with capturing it. It threw his colors off, and according to one historian made her look like a corpse. According to the wikipedia entry, he actually enjoyed painting her, and staying at her manor. College vs the internet. Who will win?

I bring this up because I'm (while being nowhere near the same level) having the same difficulties. The painting has actually progressed further than this and looks even paler. Still struggling with how to resolve the bottom of the figure, and will  be attacking it with a hammer as I get more indecisive, or the painting progresses to a near finishing point.

Lucio Pozzi in a lecture once stated, he was amazed when he asked a janitor for feedback on a painting. The janitor gave him a response that he later used for the title, and it was the most spot on description of what he could not articulate while making the piece.

I'm giving painting lessons to a friend. My student and I were discussing plans for the future, and in her bluntness captured an angle that I could not communicate to myself, or others. I was floored. She remarked after hearing about my troubles, that all of my work was dealing with and silently screaming about my inability to get away and start over. I was (and am) mired in debt. I work a horrible dead end job that utilizes so little of any functioning part of brain or body (that counts) that I wake with dread every morning at the aspect of returning to it. I am abused by slum lords and anybody I've ever owed money to, who strong arm, harass and threaten me on a daily basis. I've been walked over, chewed up, and burnt out to no end. And putting up with all of that, outside of the fact that all I've done is survive (but oh, to have survived!), I have nothing to look back on fondly. Very little accomplished for so much effort.

So I guess art is my spine that I never had. It's the telling those that would walk over me to go to hell, and take their friends with them. And in knowing that (Thanks Emily) I can take steps towards getting out of this shit hole and working towards what I want to do. Which is paint, a lot. I'm not out from under the gun yet. But I can see a direction to go now. 

I promise, more art talk next time around. Also, ending on a happy note. I'm in a show! If you find yourself up in the twin cities of the Great White North, swing by. I like talking. Albeit awkwardly.