Thursday, June 25, 2009

Samana beach kids two - step II... a second coat that looks like a smearing campaign but on canvas!

With this second pass I've applied paint on canvas the way I apply Chinese black ink on paper, in an effort to find the water...

I'm not there yet... but it looks like I will... after the third pass, I hope!

Note: "I still have a hard time coping with that stare from that iconic woman from Iran. After all, I spent 6 months last year painting women's eyes from the middle East... I wish I could change the world... but I'm just a wannabe artist".

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Not much painting... just enjoying the summer light at last!

Summer seems to be back for real it seems...

... I needed that light like there is no tomorrow!

Monday, June 22, 2009

To sell or not to sell... that is the question!

I spent the greater part of the morning getting a monkey off my back. Last week, I received a notice from a collection agency requesting $15 k for a horse I never bought. The last time I rode a horse, I clenched my fist so hard holding the reins that I had tendinitis for a month. In other words, horseback riding is not my cup of tea. At any rate, looks like somebody with my name has been "horsing around"! Fortunately, the situation is now resolved!

Meanwhile, in anticipation of a future exhibition, I've been trying to find a way to dry mount my canvases on foam boards using masking tape and improvised plastic moldings (the kind used for trellises) to hold everything together.

Looks like this could be an elegant "temporary framing" avenue once I have my measurements down path! The next step is to paint these moldings black using an oil primer and black paint in a spray can...

My intent is to only stretch canvases from paintings that are bought and to rotate different paintings on the same foam boards from one exhibition to the other. In a nutshell, I'm trying to avoid ending up with enough wood to build a house after a few years of painting!

Encouraged by not having to go to court to defend my identity, I took another risky plunge this afternoon with this kid scene from Samana, trying to make them look real with a minimum of visual information... the only information I have anyway...

Note to self: "If I can't work with limited visual information... how can I work from my imagination?"

Friday, June 19, 2009

Before the race two - final pass... getting there slowly!

I'm slowly getting used to thicker paint and leaving the marks of brush strokes intact...

... 2 color passes (after the underpainting) would be a noble objective to attain with future paintings. I'm trying to diminish my reliance on multiple layers with semi-transparent colors. I want to use heavier bodied paint in the future without compromising too much on that approach which leverages both the canvas and the underpainting, and the alternation of cool and warm colors.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Before the race two - 2nd pass... still experimenting with brush strokes and thicker paint...

I'll let this one rest for a day before its finalization with surgical brush strokes here and there.

I like the more pronounced character just after a second pass, i.e., less build up and more direct painting. This is a higher key than what I'm used to... a new tendency for me...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Before the race two - first pass... letting go as if having nothing to lose!

After my few recent blatant failures while pushing the envelope (most of my paintings are half failures or a collection of failures), I'm suddenly getting used to fail... and I seem to be in the mood to break the stiffness associated with not wanting to fail!

With this one, I'd like to swing back to hot colors and try to express the intensity and sheer determination before the race... I'm going for a red bull, literally!

Interesting concept here: it seems that I've managed to drag into this work the post-failure nonchalance from my previous painting, as if letting go after having given up... but right from the start! I've got to keep that mess intact!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Racing start IV... I lost face and gave up!

For some reason, I lost the look of the face I wanted... and couldn't recuperate it back for all the gold in the world... I did get a few interesting brush strokes in the background area... something to save for future use!

After a coat of pure black I decided not to flog this dead horse any further. I guess with experimentation there is risk... and failure! There is a price for freedom!

Interesting concept: I got expressionism out of frustration with this one!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Racing start IV - step II... having a hard time approximating the approximate face!

With this second pass, I tried the best I could to get close to the color scheme I'm after while starting to correct any anatomical flaws which, in my case, seem only evident once I've applied the first color layer!

For some reason, the head gave me troubles at this stage (head too narrow, shoulders too wide).

I think I now have the foundation I need to let go ... I should lay it really thick on this one for a change... live with my brush marks for a change!

Note to self: "if I'm still bogged down with proportions... this is no freedom!"

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Racing start IV - step I... trying hard to ride the wave of chaos!

My failed "racing start III" seems to have spurred me to take definitive action! Here 's another attempt to depart once and for all from pure realism... an attempt to suggest rather than to describe... an attempt to achieve freedom!

I don't seem to know where to start... let's hope I know how to finish!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

After the race II - final step... not painting per se but something about painting!

As I was finalizing this painting on rather shaky grounds for me, the "image maker" kicked in... this is when everything goes, short of stepping on a canvas with dirty feet... in this instance, to get some warm purplish greys!

The question is: "is this painting?"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

After the race II -step II... progressing in this new avenue like the blind leading the blind!

This second pass was meant to reinforce abstract patterns while creating a certain sense of movement....

... not an easy task for me, i.e., painting the feeling of something as opposed to painting something!

I'm hoping for a quick third pass that will just add necessary nuances both color wise and texture wise...

Monday, June 8, 2009

After the race II -step I...time to experiment!

Having reached my primary objective of 10 paintings for the 100 m series... I'm in the mood to experiment... and to push further...

... at the risk of making a fool of myself... and I will! I'm after an abstract crowd and a back lit runner that blends with it...

Note to self: "My challenge with poor source materials (e.g., TV screen shots) is to make them work for me... to transcend them with imagination and artistry... to show who's the boss!"

Sunday, June 7, 2009

After the race I - final step... there's no two ways about it, speed is of the essence!

Another one pretty much completed in 3 quick passes...

My better watercolors and Chinese black inks were all done at the blink of an eye... and it seems to be the trend with acrylics as well. Spending more time on a painting means - at least for me - more left brain (logic) intervention as opposed to right brain (feeling) intervention... leading to probing deep in the world of the unimaginative, it seems!

Note to self: "Is this a new painting path? Or simply a testimony that high contrast under intense lighting pays off no matter what color scheme is used. One thing is for sure, I don't want to define anything anymore... I want to suggest everything!"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

After the race I - step II... sucking wind as a plumber but a glimpse of hope in the art department!

I almost bit more than I could chew doing a plumbing job in the basement. It took the better part of 2 hours to cut off the tap from an old leaky drain valve installed too close to a cement wall. I imagined I was escaping from a prison! Needless to say, what does not destroy you makes you stronger!

I mustered enough energy to do a second pass on my last 100 m dash painting...

This one feels a little better than the previous one.... I'd like to cultivate some abstract patterns and let the figure blend with the background in a ghost-like fashion...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

After the race I - step I... back to the prudent approach!

Wanting to avoid the bad experience of my previous failed attempt... I built what I believe to be a stronger foundation for this one... with the hope of bringing it to fruition with a minimum of blood, sweat and tears!

I would like to avoid as much as possible "flogging a dead horse" as I did previously!

With this one I would like a much warmer color schemes with red and ochre ... this is a 24 X 30 canvas...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Racing start III... an expressionist post-mortem spasm!

Although I played plumber the greater part of the day (as "this old house" owner)... I couldn't resist reserving 15 minutes or so for a last experiment on the previous canvas... now reduced down to 20 X 24...

I called this one an expressionist post-mortem spasm! Not quite ready to join the German group yet... but it did have a cathartic effect... sort of...

Note: I managed to get rid of the runner's biblical look through observing a Jamaican at the Home Depot...

Note to self: "Need to figure out how to introduce some greens in my rendition of skin tones.... I never dared... being afraid of spoiling the picture!".

Monday, June 1, 2009

Racing start III... finally, nothing more than a canvas for experimenting techniques!

With this work so far, I used different techniques of paint application and learned a few things... but that's about it. Overworking led to a stiff illustration.... I was after a contemporary piece of art...

I decided to deconstruct this painting: "like Lautrec... I had nothing "Toulouse"!

Evidently, It won't join the collection. With this one, it's like I said "oops" before getting started... not a good sign!

Note to self: "With this one, I used too much brain and not enough intuition. Also, I know a little better the limits of my current painting methods!"