The Crystal Ship
Cover of Sinead OConnor’s version of Stretched on your Grave
The Crystal Ship
Cover of Sinead OConnor’s version of Stretched on your Grave
So it has been a bit since I pulled out the paints and turpentine and as I was setting up my outdoor studio I thought I might pass along some advice to help make things easier. Although I paint primarily in oils, these words of advice can apply to images also made with acrylic paints. Here is a simple short cut or guide to help you cut through twenty years of trial and error. These are time tested truths I have learned through out my career and things i wish I would have come to understand at a far earlier point. As an intrinsic being, when it comes to creation I set about learning my practice as such….. Trial and error…. I didn’t care what the books said. I learned a lot….. it took a lot of time too. So here are few pointers that maybe could have helped me skip through a few hoops.
When making the transition from drawing to painting on of the first things to choose is proper brush sizes. The brushes that came in that set with those canvases they sell at Wal-Mart most likely will not do. Most likely they are too big for the canvases sold with them. keep the brushes and buy a couple extra on the small side. you can never have enough small brushes….. on the other hand not having a small enough brush when needed can be extremely frustrating. want a muddy painting??? Use a big brush. On the other hand it has never ceased to amaze me how a small brush can be used to extenuate a markings on a huge canvas.
Next, Enhance your drawing skills… anyone who tells you painting has nothing to do with drawing is lying to you. Painting is 90% drawing. I am not saying that you can not create great paintings not knowing how to draw …. what I am saying is the more skill you have in rendering the easier it is to create an engaging composition. As such when pulling out ideas from your minds eye the more competently you can engage you hand “mind” coordination the more likely you will be able to successfully recreate the image in your mind. As your rendering skills strengthen so will your ability to render specific elements within your composition then creating more dynamic images.
KISS, KEEP IT SIMPLE SILLY. Use the three primary colors and white. you can mix pretty much ANY COLOR in the universe using red, blue and yellow, including BLACK(which isn’t a color). It is basic color theory. Even if you are stuck with 3 non ideal primary colors (ie. lemon green, pale blue and salmon red) you are still better limiting yourself to these three colors and learning to mix. the process of mixing will give you a MUCH MORE accurate color to the one in your minds eye and also teach you a great deal about the dynamics of creating an image in color. it is also a great way to warm up the mind for making art.
Clean your brushes: Now I am a brush killer from way back in the day but I also know how to bring a brush back to life. In oil painting it very easy to taint a colors with other colors especially in a situation were one was painting with red yesterday and white today. give your brushes a THOROUGH cleaning at least once a month, done proper it will rejuvenate your brush.
Use found house paint on inexpensive materials include found objects and “gessoed” paper. Ever buy a nice piece of paper then been to afraid to make a mark on it. Same thing except times ten cause painting supplies are more expensive. Using less expensive materials you can free yourself from fear of making mistakes, thereby liberating your creativity. Under painting a flat color on a white canvas can also be used to break the “fear” barrier. That first mark can be a little scary so why not make in away you can not make a mistake. Under painting also enriches a work by adding extra depth through out a work.
Learn from the “MASTERS”….. look at what you like and more importantly look at what you don’t like. WHY don’t you like it and what can you learn from it. If there is a work you really like reproduce it or even better create your own work with elements of that masters technique.
AND LASTLY….. When in doubt research and YouTube it.
So I been kinda stuck… in between a plateau and in the mud. I wasn’t down about it I was just unsure what direction to take next. As result of that I have been extremely distracted and wasting vast amount of time through out the day. I am not complaining about it is part of my nature. I like to daydream… It creates beautiful works of art but can also So I was doing the minum and coasting along. I sold some art, printed some prints, sold some prints wrote some articles ect ect. Same old same old. you see I it’s kindda funny but I got this feeling in my gut, the game is won and I kindda didnt know where to go so I just started following the exercise and everday act on it. Well here is the results of one of the things I acted on. here is a little Gorilla marketing for you A la Shepard Fairey.
Unfortunatly as I have learbed over the year life can not be all rainbows and sunshowers. at some point shit has to be acomplished. So here I was ready to get at her but stuck in no go mode so what did I do… I turned to a book. it was a book that had been sitting on my shelves for years but I had yet to touch.I figured if nothing else it would be good way to spend sometime. The more I read the more my mind was stimulated not, only stimulated but focused. I started working on the most importanr aabd direct task at any given moment. The more I did thi the more I could pin point errors in my thinking. Around the sametime I put up some of the new editions an
So here is the latest work. It is a word drawing inspired by my last sale…. er should I say client. After we finished our last agreement he sent me a text telling me how much he really enjoyed buying original works and told me to “excite” him. so I banged me head against the wall for a couple of days then while drawing found myself thinking “why don’t I like art anymore and why isn’t it any ever fun… no wonder I don’t feel like making it anymore” and then I thought of my clients child and saw the “alligator” head on the bottom and thought I would go with that. now this isn’t the first time monsters ever came out in my work… it is the first time I ever brought them in a composition as such though. Editions should be available soonish
So tourist season begins here in the Belle Province as such I know ppl are going to be looking for info on the best places to go and the best things to see. as I had the “pleasure” of being invited to Theater Saint Catherine‘s Jesus Christ Super Star Band I figured I might step on my friend Jazz’n’Fuzzy’s toes a bit a let you know this is definitely a place stop when you find yourself in our fair city.
This is a great “indy” theater that has stood the test of time have lasted in the heart of downtown for about ten years. Last night was the first time I had been there for years and what a truly pleasurable and engaging experience it was. I had forgotten the energy of live performance. Part play, part rock band. Maybe it was like the original I am not sure. During my entire existence on this earth I have always managed to avoid a production of this show under no uncertain terms. WHY? cause I am prone to violence whether it is a good or bad thing who is to say. none the less that is my truth. therefore going through life I try to to avoid things that make me angry.
I always knew without knowing that Jesus Christ Superstar would make me angry. None the less when my friend Steph invited me down, I thought I would give it a go. Like I said it was sometime since I had seen a live play. He is a pretty entertaining guy so I figured I could not go wrong. And I was right on all accounts … I HATED the play…. I LOVED the performers, the energy with which they brought to the stage and their individual parts was incredible. the expression with which they sung filled the space. The band and music was high energy and KICK GENUINE ROCK N ROLL ASS…. when your dealing with the battle between good and evil that become a little INTENSE after a while though. GOOD, was musically represented with down home grooves that filled yer soul. BAD on the other hand was chaotic and violent noise. It unnerved the system. So much so that just before the end of the play I had the genuine urge to fight or flight. Not being the appropriate place to start slugging people out, the only option was flight. Which luckily took me past my friend.( it is an intimate setting… off stage is often through or beside the audience). I knew he would be back on stage shortly… I explained as best and quickly as I could … he said “sit down, and shut up fer five… the endings is great you will hate if you miss it.” As Jesus had just been crucified the only thing left was rebirth, how chaotic could that be …. the rebirth was celebrated with an explosion of song and jubilation by the entire cast and audience was asked to join in and we did.
In a way by the end it was like I had just experienced a mid south baptism from the 30’s. We had been take on a journey through good an evil and come out the other side “cleansed”. The ever lasting question of how humanity can continually be so cruel to things so good and and so pure…lingered. One somehow took comfort that good triumphed or was such a potent force in the universe. We were still confronted by the question of which a more powerful force… good or evil. For the moment good had one and we felt relived.
AS did I. It pleased me to no avail that theater can be so cool they can take a PRODUCTION I hate and turn it in to a very POWERFUL EXPERIENCE. Sure I hated the play… I KNEW I WOULD… I LOVED THE CAST and the energy which this show was created though. It was intoxicating. I am very thankful I was invited down and thankful my love for theater has been rejuvenated. The best part of all this is, Theatre Sainte Catherine’s has productions or something happening almost EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEK. almost all fer under 20$. Hell they even have an improv acting class on Sundays where you can join and learn to act. All of this equals PROOF LIVE, EXCITING THEATER STILL EXISTS and if you happen to stop through Montreal without checking this out you might have missed something.