Tuesday, June 19, 2007

switching gears... again

I'm doing a bunch of photos this week. I thought I would be back to painting now that my open studio show is done, but I think painting will have to wait just a while longer. (This is what happens without an impending deadline. There's a tiny show next month I think I might see if I can get in on, just for a deadline. But I'm procrastinating that as well.)

I'm taking photos these days. And not self portraits for once. I've been doing headshots off an on for a while as a side gig. But I wanted to do a little more so I've angling to take some publicity shots for musicians. And since I've been thinking along photography lines lately-- it is always my style to get carried away. Because I've already come up with several series worth of photos. (It's hard, everything I look at inspires me... it gets ridiculous because I can't keep up with myself. But I do this when I am concepting new paintings too... come up with 20+ at one time until I just come to the natural end of the line of thought.)

The photos series I'm going to do first was inspired by a trip to the 99-cent store (the best place for inexpensive inspiration, 2nd only to the fashion/garment/jewelry district downtown.)

I call it the "Bubble Gum Series", because it's going to be completely over the top with candy colors, childlike themes, playful feel, and a complete lack of seriousness. It's so easy to get serious with fine art portraiture. I want to do something all out goofy.

So it started by my not being able to afford photo backdrops at $40 each just for the 53in roll of photo paper. Let alone the apparatus to hold it up. So I went to the 99-cent store to have a look around, mainly for anything matte, and black or gray. They didn't have that. But I found other stuff: bright wrapping paper, table cloths, shower curtains. All perfect for backdrops. Then I found balloons. Ribbons. Childrens make-up. Very mundane 99cent stuff, but I always find that it's the simple stuff that is the most promising.

Now I'm saddled with the chore of coordinating my "models", mainly my friends and acquaintances who say "Sure, I'll up for that" and then promptly get busy with other stuff. Which means by Monday I'll be doing self portraits again.

Found out today...

Rudolf Arnheim passed away June 9th at age 102.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I'm tired, so tired.
I have sleep to do.
I have work to dream.

~Bill Knott, "(End) of Summer"

hmm... I should write more.

I've been missing for a while. Somehow months slipped by. But they were busy months, full of art, as well as annoying stuff like 15 yr old cars with dying transmissions, subways, working weekends, logistics of organizing a show, preparing for the show, having the show, and now recovering from the show (recovery means watching re-runs of shows on cable wearing pajamas at 5pm.)

I think I'm now into a new period of creative things. I'm going to paint more, photograph more, write more. I have to stop going in so many directions, and not rush. Deadlines are good though, but I've had too many lately. I just hope I don't get lazy without them for the next little bit.

Above is a commission I did recently in the middle of all the craziness. It came out great-- and I think I need to do more like it. It's mixed media (acrylic, gesso, gel medium, pages torn out of Franny & Zooey) & covered by a couple layers of UV gloss, on panel.

It of my friend Julie who was in a Franny & Zooey inspired movie I made a couple years back. For this piece I worked from video, which is unique. Actually I recently saw a show where the artist supposedly painted from video-- I don't know if he painted from video as it played or from a video still (I'm curious...). But for my piece, I captured a couple stills from a scene and superimposed them, and fiddled with them a little in photoshop-- and then painted from the photoshop image as well as a series of 3 still frames. I'm thinking video might be a cool way to work now, even from moving video. I have to play with it more. But I like having a digital step to my art-- even if there is no digital element literally in my work. I do all my preparatory "sketches" in photoshop now. Sometimes I sketch stuff and composite it in the computer (so I can move it around.) Other times it's photos. I can play with color and composition-- and it is much faster than painting a series of miniature painting studies. My teachers in school would have a heart attack about this though. And perhaps a miniature painting could serve a purpose too. But I have limited time, and I never allowed myself anything digital before... and I always had such purist art teachers who never planted the possibilities of technology in my head. But I'm sure had the Renaissance or Impressionists, etc. had photoshop-- they would have used it like crazy.