Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Volley XIV Down in the Cellar

So, getting hung up on the painting. I completely obliterated the torso to pale it out even more, but lost all the structural marks in it. I sat in on the tail end of a class taught by an artist I respect very much (including the fact that she's a giant nerd, and very charismatic) and she asked me what my finished plan was for the piece. I responded in the mindset of "oh, I don't know, I want to play with some gilt work, and he might be clothed and...."

To which she said "yeah, but how's the bottom half going to be?"

"I'm not sure. I was thinking maybe his guts could be falling out and I will demolish the bottom half with a hammer..." She asked if I had any studies done for that. Nope. Not a one. She said I need to get the idea for the image completely fleshed out. She's right of course, but it's completely antithetical to the way I work. It's also what separates the big dogs from the puppies, if you will. I've always largely made work by a call and response. I put something out there, stare at it, and then it tells me where to go. It makes me move so much slower. It also makes my images not strong. And never finished. So at this point, I think I'm going to return to the stock photo. It won't be a hundred percent translation.

 I think painting in the style of photo realism (or as much as I'm going to attempt to ape it)you have to push the depth, space and form more than you can achieve with a photograph.

Saying that, you can actually see how the photo has completely flattened out, even though I've pushed space in the background. I've actually painted in the hakama. Complete with ridiculous bow in front of it, and it has helped to anchor the figure.You can see the difference between the scabs of paint on the left arm and the blended quality on the right arm. Hopefully the two will meet somwhere in the middle.

 Remember me talking about how things are never finished? I intend to cover every inch of this panel with paint. and then destroy it with a hammer and knives. But it's the coverage, and the completion that counts. You may be asking: "Why?" Well, it's a challenge to myself to complete something as opposed to just get it resolved enough to be "show ready." Which is bad-artist speak for "I ran out of time, but no one will know that I consider it not done." Scratch that. Some people know. And you sell yourself and your work short that way. I've made lots of work that I feel comfortable with calling done. But they're not done because they're finished, they're done because I have nothing left to say, or to offer by continuing to work on the piece. So this is an exercise in completion. At the very least it's "let's see if the primitive monkey can finish the pretty picture." Pay attention to FLCL especially. God I love that show.