Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I told myself I had to finish at least one painting this weekend. I choose the elephant and watering can because it seemed the mostly likely to get done, and I hoped the energy sparked from actually completing something might carry over into the rest of my work. I'd argue it's not quite finished, but the end is in sight, which is encouraging, not the least because I have several other painting ideas I would like to be able to start.

That this painting is being difficult is my own fault. It is considerably more difficult to paint a still life with a white background than a darker one, and I created such a simple set up, that it became quite vital for the painting to be interesting as a painting as well as an image. But I really liked the two trunks, or spouts, of the objects, facing each other, and the negative spaces highlighted by the white background seemed like too much fun not to paint. Looking at the photograph now I'm realizing I'll have to repaint the elephant's feet again, as they still don't seem to rest on the table top. I guess I'm back to the studio.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Today I hopped the train to Salem and wandered out to Winter Island. It was a fantastic and well needed day on the beach. I even roused myself from my ocean and sun-drunk stupor long enough to do a quick pencil sketch of some rocks along the shore. Tomorrow is back to the studio and my long neglected paintings.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Unintended variations

I know I haven't posted in awhile. Truth be told, I've hardly painted in as much time. There have been various things demanding my time instead, and I gave it to them, because they were more important, but I wish I had had more time to paint. This blog is very much intended to be about my painting, to give an inside view of it, to show my processes, to answer questions as to the paintings' evolution and perhaps to provide a more inclusive biography than what can be fit into an artist's statement. It was not intended to be about my personal life beyond what is relevant to my work, so imagine my surprise in discovering just how wrapped up my painting is in my personal life. I now expect an artist who can compartmentalize the two is creating soulless art; if one removes the experiences, character, thoughts, or emotions of the artist from the equation, surely we might as well have computers do the work for us. But I'm being tangential in my ramblings. All the preamble was merely an introduction to a few updates on my self portrait, which is going rather peculiarly, and rather poorly. My personal life has been complicated lately, and it seems I'm hard pressed to keep this from showing up in a painting, much less a self portrait. But I promised I'd continue to post it, if only to shame myself into putting the work in to pull a decent painting out of it in the end. So here goes:

This is the stage I left it weeks ago, having put in another day after the image in the last post:

This is what happened three weeks later when I got back to the painting and decided the original was boring:

And this is maybe an hour later when I decided I'd actually prefer to be a Hindu God:

And this is where I left off, having decided I look silly without my glasses, even when I hardly resemble myself:
Any day now I intend to stick with a pose and get the drawing down correctly. I keep telling myself it's all good exercise, which I do know to be true. But we finally, at long last, have warm weather here, which increases my ability to deal with life like no other factor, so I expect I can stop taking things out on my paintings. Hurrah for summer.