Well, my latest oil painting was apparently a success – or at least it was well-received by the person it was done for, and it got me into a ‘production phase’ – which, appropriately, is much more productive than the ‘consumption phase’ I was in previously. I suppose I could think of that as having been an ‘incubation phase’ – except that it involved an awful lot of television. At any rate, I was loosely commissioned (“Sure, go ahead”) to do a few more pieces. Yes, they are oils. But even though the end product is an oil (pastel on paper –I just don’t do oil on canvas), the process is still one of collage. I began by taking photos of the boatyard… Then, I downloaded them onto my computer, and started doing a bunch of cutting and pasting. I described the process to a friend by comparing it to Georges Seurat, who, like so many others, Impressionists, as well as before and after, used to go out and sketch – ‘in plain air’ – and then take the sketches back to the studio and use them in their paintings – not just copying, but rearranging, as appropriate. (Believe me, I do a lot of rearranging…) So, from photo to computer to print-out to pastel drawing, the results of a complicated concatenation of technological cut-and-paste is this: So, Wednesday we’ll go down to the boatyard and see what the response is in person. Hmmm.
I’ve taken a break from collages and books and other things to do – of all things – an oil painting – on canvas.
How in the world did this happen??
In fact, a couple of years ago I ordered a bunch of oil sticks, since they fall right in the middle of painting with oil paint using brushes – which I pretty much hate- to working with oil pastels, which I love, and which I’d been doing for years, but which aren’t really suitable for anything not under glass, since they really don’t dry. Also, the oil sticks appealed to me from an ecological perspective, since you don’t really need to be messing around with a lot of thinner, either as medium or for cleaning up. Basically, oil sticks felt like “oil pastels writ large”.
But these oil sticks had been sitting in my studio cabinet for a couple of years; I think the last thing I did with them was some landscapes on board – in an exhibit from 2011 –
Now, I was taking them out again basically for the purpose of teaching somebody a lesson. You see, this friend of mine had a picture of a rowboat sitting in his office. It was pretty ‘tasteful’ – for something that looked like it came from a department store. But my friend was not quite satisfied with it, because if you stuck your nose up real close to the canvas, you could see the jagged edges of the pixels – the tell-tale signs that this was, in fact, a photocopy, rather than an “oil on canvas”.
Now, this friend offered to pay me some money to make him a “better” copy of this rowboat – but with real paint, and no jaggy edges. I agreed.
And then I took this photocopy/painting to a printshop and got another copy made, gave this copy to another artist friend, who is supposedly at work right at this very moment painting the exact same rowboat, “only better” (and doing it right on top of the “original” – for the sake of convenience).
I, on the other hand, thought my friend needed a present.
And I think it’s done.
Except maybe that brown triangle in the lower left… what do you think? I’ve still got a week to deadline…