This painting, like all my paintings, is a Fine Arts Oil Painting Scientific Experiment. What happens if I do this, what happens if I do that. So I enjoy experimenting and learning. I hate being predictable or running the same play or routine countless times on a painting. This would make me insane. Remember the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? Well, I steer far away from that.
An idea for an oil painting starts out as a pencil drawing then moves into the paint medium. After redrawing the sketch on a new panel. My visual plan begins in my head on how I may proceed. Thinking there may be some tightly rendered details in select areas I proceeded and experiment with some glazing techniques.
I have used glazing with other paints maybe 20 years ago, never experimented this way with M. Graham oil paints that I love. So they are healthier for you, being made with Walnut Oil, they do not recommend using a glazing medium. Instead, for glazing I can push the paint around with a stiff brush, rubbing the paint in at the desired color and tone. Sometimes I would add paint to my panel and then wipe some off with either a paper towel, soft rag or my finger. You have to be careful when adding more paint not to wipe off what has been painted or glazed as under paint. I would make sure to let my paint dry thoroughly, then lightly scumble paint in with a stiff brush on top of the previously painted layers. I use many different sizes of brushes as needed.
My experiences with brushes are that I can wear them out quite quickly, so I try not to use expensive brushes. I like using the painting knife, they are made of metal and it is hard to wear them out. A brush gives a softer stroke with a smoother texture if any at all. Sometimes too much soft. On the other hand, the painting knife gives you sharpness and texture. Finding ways to make the knife strokes soft can be a challenge. See my book Painting Knife Explained if interested in learning how to use a painting knife. Available on my website, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc. Click on the link below
Though the process of glazing is usually a refined process, I still like it to have the feel of paint marks on my panel. So, I am constantly revising how I make each mark of paint on the panel. The feel of varying marks or texture of the paint is very important to me. Glazing offers a lot of show-through of previous marks that can add depth and variety to your painting if managed well.
There are so many concerns to juggle while
painting. I have only mentioned a few. Standing back from my panel many times
to see the overall impression as the painting develops while being conscious of
the areas, I want more refined and detailed verses less detailed to emphasize
space in the painting. This kind of
painting needs more patience to allow the painting to slowly develop and come
up through the glazing technique. The values and tonality are controlled much
more accurately with glazing and there is always more time to adjust. Add an
additional darker glaze to push areas back, then come back with lighter tones
to add pop. Always a push, pull with painting marks.
Glazing is so different from the painting knife. With the painting knife, I will attack the painting with my knife loaded with color and the properly chosen tonality. Looking to paint a shape while being constantly aware of the texture, soft and hard edges of the thick paint I lay down and what direction the strokes move the eye.
I had wished I had sanded my panel smooth once I started glazing. The Painting knife enjoys the rough texture of the primer painted with a loaded house paintbrush. The glazing is struggling with the ups and downs texture of the primer beneath.
At the same time, I feel a painting needs some rough paint marks to keep alive. Can you have both smooth and rough at the same time? Absolutely, we are artists, we break boundaries. Set standards then blow them up. It is a scientific experiment.
Different parts of the painting were nagging at me. Not sure what to do with them, then all of a sudden it comes to me, attack the painting with paint. Paint out the nagging areas completely, redefine the overall feel. Visibly more apparent brushwork. Much closer now. I took about that much time to paint out. Though the thought process and pondering solutions was a much longer period of time. The uncommon torso on the left figure, part of the original reason I started the painting, now gone completely. I have to be flexible in painting a piece of art. Everything is in relationship to everything else. It all has to work together. Or it dramatically has to not work together as a statement.
The pencil drawing that said, “Who Me?” (see post), does it still express that same meaning, or has it changed when it became a painting? I still see it. Though going from a black and white pencil to a full-color painting has been a huge jump in aesthetics evolution. A drawing vs. a painting is a vast difference in medium, execution, and expression.
“Who Me?”, captures that feeling we get when
someone tries to make you feel bad about something, they think you did or
thought you meant. Your innocent, but all your feelings just spin. You try to
figure your way out of this false accusation. Innocent I say!
The figure execution in this futuristic expression of Woman or Wo-Android robot is designed to represent a human with flesh-like material. A deeper look could show us a different approach to how to possibly see our self.
Iconic images can say so much in a flash. Working with resemblances can help bring up amazing new imagery. Used very well in Pop Art, art is for the imagination, the dreamer, and the inventor. If the art will only attempt to represent everything as it is, what fun would that be?
A fun painting for me is something you can hang on your wall and enjoy for a lifetime. Every time you come back for a visit, it has something new to offer you. Or maybe it is the ever-changing you, interacting with the life of the painting?
A painting may not need to offer everything to you in your
first encounter. More like a good book, it should unfold as the story develops.
I have pondered the comparison of live music to a painting. For me, a painting’s life will never die. It keeps on producing like an animation every time it is encountered. Speaking new truth on each new visitor’s return.
In life, there are so many traps to fall into. What may not be a trap for someone else, can be a trap for you. They start out slow, one thread at a time, before you know it you have created an entire network of webs around you. A keenly fashioned spiderweb and you are the author.
Some see it in marriage. I will do what my parents did, find a spouse, find a house, add a pool, you ____. Kids, before you know it, now you cannot afford your lifestyle. Remember it was all your choices. You wanted to be like the Joneses. Now you cannot keep up with them. What now?
You Join a church get involved and find out there are so many hypocrites. Not a total loss, you did learn how to judge others and make your self feel superior. You go to a retreat looking for God. I thought God was everywhere. Did he get lost? Did someone steal him? How come you cannot find him? Maybe looking in the wrong place?
Go to college, pay handsomely, on a promise someone has made. Graduate and no one will hire you. There are no jobs in your field. Tell me why do colleges do this? You still owe the bill for college. Wait, you thought if you go to college, you would get a job and pay off the debt. Crazy you.
So many things to get sucked into. Do not be dismayed. There is still something real out there. Your heart has been hungering for it all your life. The more. You know there has to be something more. Everything inside you tells you this. There must be more.
I have lost total control of my paintings. I start out on
one idea and end way out on another. Please let me explain. My thoughts
transpired from the red rocks of Sedona to Man or human beings.
Recently my wife and I went to Sedona Arizona. Amazing,
inspiring red rocks that majestically jump out of the ground, affecting even
the air you breathe. Some images you just need to experience for yourself, no
painting or picture will ever suffice. Though I wanted to try.
Once I had my plan and vision, that changed many times as I painted and explored the image. At one point I became overwhelmed by the paint itself and the marks it made. The paint is so beautiful. Art talking from the emotional passionate center.
Then all of a sudden I came back to this image I had seen in my dreams many times recently. My canvas quickly changed from horizontal to vertical, then 180-degree turn to the other vertical. The dream image firmly planted in my mind of a man representing all mankind, having a block-shaped head. I knew what it meant in my dreams. I could see almost all the colors and positions of each paint stroke, down to the stripes on the person.
I saw that every person’s thoughts and memories created their own world. Not everyone had the same experiences, so each had a different perspective on existence. These thoughts kept us from experiencing life, as it really is, the naked, unencumbered truth about life. Each person on earth was instead imprisoned in his or her separate universe of personal thought. Colliding with others blockheads of what they took as true life, which it isn’t, It is only their personal entanglement with the thoughts they beat themselves up with each day. Past experiences, misinterpretations or what they told themselves so that they could keep on, keeping on, no matter how inaccurate. We can believe anything we tell ourselves. We many times are the worst liars to ourselves and even worse; we believe our own lies completely. This is no way to live. We must free ourselves from these past thoughts.
There must be something that can unite us. Allowing us to
appreciate this great experience and privilege called life. All Man living on
the same page, united.
Any ideas? I have some. What are you open to give up to gain everything?
For all the finished paintings out there, to balance the universe there needs to be an unfinished painting. So I give you, Unfinished Tre.
So many times especially as a young artist, the goal with every piece of artwork I created, was to finish it. The goal was to complete beyond our original vision. As artists, we know that the idea in our mind will never be as perfect and complete as it is in our mind.
That a painting could possibly come to an end seems ridiculous to me now. So many things in life are incomplete, unfinished, have no end. For this reflection on life, I give you “Unfinished Tre”.
Look around you as you take a walk. Not everything is finished. For the most part, things are incomplete or left to another day that never comes. We feel incomplete. Aspiring for more, more, more.
1. (= end)fin f
a fight to the finish une lutte à mort
2. [of race]arrivée f
We saw the finish of the London Marathon.Nous avons vu l’arrivée du
marathon de Londres.
A while back in my early illustration years I was fascinated by Rube Golberg machines that I liked to call contraptions. In my mind, the Artist Rube Goldberg was the master of these illustrations. Similar to a game like Mouse Trap, one thing happens that triggers another eventually accomplishing its goal like turning on a toaster or a coffee pot. Long before the digital age of smartphones, apps and Vivint security systems that can turn off and on lights and open doors. Rube Goldberg contraptions had to work in the physical world. In this case, hitting the return bar of an old typewriter. Just fascinating to follow along with the sequence and see how it all plays out.
A Rube Goldberg machine is a machine designed to perform a very simple everyday task in a joyfully inventive and complicated arrangement of everyday recognizable items.
I would enjoy doing this again for clients with imagination and pen and ink in hand. I drew similar illustrations in my new book, “Why Am I Broke?”. Click on the link to read.