Some random moments from The Big Painting, passages seen up close. Nearly all of these things will be covered up in more paint. But then I’ll take close ups of those too …
It’s fun for me looking at the surface. I hope it’s fun for the spectator too. Many things are abstract seen up close.
There’s lots of color contrast in this painting, both in the painting as a whole and in the smaller sections.
The flowers will get more stuff done to them, but these flowers will probably never be anything other than painted flowers with details of paint but not details of botany.
I am contemplating a plate. It may go at the bottom. Not sure. Right now it exists only as a broken arc. Blue jay’s tail is visible on the left.
Sorting through the studies for the painting, I find bits that particularly intrigue me. One of these bits is that passage where a portion of the blue jay figurine is visible through the handle of the frog teapot. I love passages like that in art and in life. When I was drawing it — strange as it may seem — I thought this particular passage was so marvelous — in the actual things.
Such passages as possibilities in a canvas measuring 60 x 48 inches are somewhat staggering to contemplate (122 x 152 cm). But it doesn’t bother me. It’s not goading like the question of what things mean is goading. It’s a grand opportunity for pleasure. It’s like ranging through a large meadow every square foot of which is filled with wild flowers. The potentials for pleasure are immense.
I think I am basically an abstract painter at heart. I just need things about which to be abstract. Perhaps there’s a measure of abstraction in the things also — or in their meanings — in meaning generally. Maybe meaning can be more flexible and capacious than I realize.
When I found this old painting again (featured in the previous post), I was greatly surprised to discover that I had painted the pull of the zipper. There it is in the lower corner and you can even see a bit of the zipper track.
I guess I came under its spell.
Got to test the camera once in a while. I was trying to see how up-close I could get and still keep it in focus. I love magnification. Love to see the texture of the paper and the pigment dragged across the paper’s ragged surfaces. And regarding the fish one draws, one cannot but love the eye that gazes back at you.
The abstraction of the small parts of the picture should match the abstraction of the whole if the picture is to make sense.
If you’re an artist, you need never leave childhood behind.
This story has a childlike appeal too. One fish swims upward and the other dives.
The close up view of the drawing reveals the hatching and cross-hatching that I wrote about a few posts ago. The technique is a lot like what you get from traditional pastels except that there is no dust.
This is like your traditional kids’ Crayola crayons except with a very rich, heavily pigmented and highly workable texture. As a drawing medium it is extremely responsive and flexible. As a consequence you can fully enter into your idea without any hassle about the medium. And you can find a kid-like joy in this portable, scribbly crayon.
They’re a little on the expensive side, though. If one rolls under the couch, it’s worth diving under there to retrieve it!