Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In the Forest

In the Forest in the Desert

I finished this painting this week, tentatively called "In the Forest, in the Desert," (3ft by 4ft.) I've been told that is a bad title. So it might change. It is a hard one to name because I don't think it translates into words.

This is autobiographical (as always) and is a made up space with a desert on the left and northeastern woods on the right side knitted together into one space. I tried to make the landscapes different enough it was clear it was southwest meets northwest-- but not so different it looked like two different paintings. Ultimately I wanted to make a scene that took more than a brief glance to figure out.

I thought this one was done a month or two ago, but after staring at it for a while I decided some things were not working for me. I worked on some other pieces on the meantime which gave me some ideas for this one. In the end I nearly repainting the entire thing-- and repainted the figure on the right 3-4 times changing the color of her dress. It was gray, then yellow, then red. At the end I decided to make it black-- to create a rhythm with the black bird, foreground figure in black, and then a third piece of black. The red dress was too overpowering and disrupted the way a viewer should experience it. I had just painted the clothing on the figure and was about to repaint the reflection when a friend walked by and stopped me. She said the reflection should stay red. I didn't agree at the time but luckily decide to look at it for a few days. In the end, she was right, and the red reflection is just the right amount of red and adds a weirdness to the scene that I love. You can't plan everything.

Maybe I should call this painting "Nature" since I was reading a biography of Emerson while I worked on it.

Here is a detail of my favorite part:

In the Forest in the Desert (detail)

Below is a previous painting I finished just before the holidays, "Two Coasts" (also 3ft by 4ft)

Two Coasts

This is another one where I tried to knit east & west coast together but in a different more literal way-- with Los Angeles on the left and Boston on the right. I repeated the exact same figure but with a slightly different gaze on each.

I am exploring breaking the unity of space and time. I am thinking of having figures being repeated even more times to create a journey. I don't want to paint paintings that are a moment in time that could be captured as well or better with a camera.

When I work out the concept of a painting, I approach it more like an installation concept vs. a painting concept. Except most of my ideas are too impossible to ever make into an installation (like move New Mexico next to Vermont impossible.) I love that everything is possible in painting though.

I am currently reading "Collages" by Anais Nin. I love it. I'm reading it slowly to savor it since it is a short book and I will miss it when it is done. I recommend it for anyone who has lived in LA, or is an artist, or both.

3 comments:

MIke said...

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MIke said...

Your blog has been recommended to us as a interviewee's favorite blog!

We would like to do an interview with you about your blog for Blog
Interviewer. We'd
like to give you the opportunity to
give us some insight on the "person behind the blog."

It would just take a few minutes of your time. The interview form can
be submitted online here Submit your
interview
.

Best regards,

Mike Thomas

Gays and the Cities said...

Beautiful work!!!