I'm moving myself away from the computer and back into book pages and clean canvasses. I love posting in our barn with the doors open, the sun and breeze washing in, and my stereo playing mixed CDs that resurrect memories of high school and early college. Painting, for me, is therapy; it's meditative, it's restorative, it fights melancholy and unnecessary regrets. I drag my brush across smudges of pigment and spread, analyze, and move until it has become that shade for that particular form, casting the light in different ways until it conveys the concept I envision. Sometimes, I don't quite capture what my mind sees, yet it's always important to step back. That's what art reminds me: to invest everything and focus on my vision, but to take breaks and assess the grander image to see how far I've come. There are days I can crank out a few canvases, others I've barely moved beyond a corner. It's a process, and one that I miss far too much when I'm at school and can't afford three hours to be consumed. I guess that's not a problem anymore.
Here's a couple things I worked on:
This is a portrait of me and one of my best friends, Kristen! Embarrassingly enough, I began painting this last October with the intent of mailing it for her 21st birthday because I was at college. In high school, my kooky and inspiring art teacher Mr. Williams had us create a painting emulating another painter, so I had Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in mind again. He was one of the drunkard Parisian artists of the Belle Epoque that spent way too much time at the Moulin Rouge drinking absinthe (and yes, he's even portrayed in the 2001 film!). Yet his charcoal croquis (sketches), oil paintings, and pastel gesture drawings breathe movement and vulnerability into a world behind the performances. Check out his foundation and work here.
I had an awesome time re-styling the photo as sort of a neo-impressionist, loosely linear portrait. But then I was stumped by our faces. Human faces have never been my strength, less I do my own because I can stare at it in the mirror endlessly (which develops a particular psychosis of it's own, but that's different). I finally sucked it up and just mad something for us, which actually I'm seeing that Toulouse-Lautrec avoided overly-detailed expressions, making me somewhat on point.
Fish on a canvas board. Nothing really conceptual here, I just wanted to make something detailed and graphic. My only trouble is running out of paint; I mix these beautiful shades, then use it all before I can fill in the micro-texture of the canvas board. This needs touching up.
These are paintings from Zach's New Hampshire lake house. I finished this canvas that essentially mimics the light house, because I love the use of form and bordering tonal families (I just made that term up):
This isn't anything crazy-conceptual, but the curled up elephant just kind of drifted into my mind and I wanted to make something graphic and vibrant.
Here's a bunch of op-art I posted in June for RoosterGNN from my watercolor notebook:
25th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square
Brazilian Crackdown on World Cup Protesters
U.S. Debate on Student Loan Forgiveness
My art is not functional, but I love that I can share it. My backpack-like carrier for supplies will become especially handy in a few weeks once I'm in my new digs (have to write a post about that!) and might explore new places to paint. I also sent out quite a few letters last month and awaiting replies, though regardless, letters are one of my favorite gestures. I never know who's actually reading this, but if you'd like one, just send me your address!
Listening: "Sound of Erasing" by Rubblebucket from their new album Survival Sounds that releases at the end of August, eeee!