28 September 2010

New Painting: Deerman

Now that I'm warmed up with painting again, subject matter comes into play.  I'm never without new ideas.  So many interests, so many needs, so many aesthetics, so many techniques, so many historical rootings...  Like musician Brian Eno said about music in the digital age which really cuts to the core of the artistic dilemma:  "Presented with every sound studio gadget under the sun with a virtual infinity of sounds you could produce, it's very difficult to create an individual style."  In the same manner, painting is never dead, already having every gadget under the sun.

I'm very into the new revolution in art that is coming:  stuff made by hand.  Recently in Tucson, Daniel Martin Diaz has opened a "museum" that features world class painters.  Very interesting that he names it a museum.  An idea that the market place decides which art is best rather than the academic arena.  Low Brow.  LOL  Really, that's been the tradition for 30,000 years.  Good art is what people want to live with and will shell out hard currency for.  Best example, "Low Brow" Ron English who sells his work for hundreds of thousands.  Feeling the pinch making your money off government grants to create your academically legitimized installation art?  (in this case the chicken was there before your egg was)  Sick of arts administrators being gate keepers to your dream with piles of paperwork?  Pick up the brush motherfucker.  Show them who's boss.

I knew I wanted to do characters.  The figure.  Worked on some digital sketches in my "of Dieties and Demons," series.  As I chipped away at the idea, I started thinking the work was immature.  The elaborate detailed frames, symbol filled backgrounds...  Toys, wizardry, diversions.  What is it about paintings like this that I like so much?  There's no clutter.  It's modern.  It's just the figure.  It's a sampling, like science data.  Not a new idea either because it reminded me of paintings in the Charles Peale Museum built 1786 in Baltimore.  At the time, it was more of a museum of natural history.

Working on the sketch of "Deerman," I had fleshed out the pose using Poser software which cuts out the middle man of finding a stock photo, or finding a model, lighting the model and photographing a model all in one fell swoop.  Then I began formulating backgrounds, frames, symbols etc...  Jane pointed out that it looked fine as it was.  I have to agree.  All the bang in a figure painting is the figure.  Very mature.  Simple.

Seems like little stuff. When you embark on planning a painting that will take 30-40 hrs, you need to strategize something that's going to carry you through.  Not just one painting but a series.  We'll see how I do with the figure...  I'm up for the challenge.  Feels like an evolutionary jump for me.

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