Happily in the time I was "away" some good things came along, one being the news that this little piece was accepted in the Illustrators Club of DC, MD & VA's annual juried show, and we're planning to drive up for the opening tomorrow (sorry I'm posting this at the last minute).
For now I'll say some other stuff is in the works too, which makes me think that Yeats' old crane of Gort may himself be enjoying a trout or two....
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Management profoundly regrets and apologizes for the inconvenience and worries that have been caused; and Eddoes #2
5/6. Eddoes #2, oil on linen on panel, 5x7 in.
Well, I never thought I'd become one of those loathsome, horribly selfish people who could let their blogs languish for months with no explanation why. Originally I intended to stop for some soul-searching (whatever that means). I felt that I had been working too comfortably, that I still wasn’t getting at whatever it is I wanted to get at, if you get that. Most likely it started with my going to Charleston and seeing my friend and coming back and seeing a lot more great art online and getting annoyed with myself and with how I see (or don’t see) things. The old hermit in me said it was time to step away and hide out for a while, so I decided to put this (almost-)daily painting "project" face down and not feel too guilty about it.
I was telling myself I had to work out the composition of a new portrait of my daughter. Looking again at my old art history books reminded me of the enormous impact that Correggio, Bellini, and other Renaissance painters initially had on me, and it made me want to tackle something on a little larger scale in which I could play around more with light, do more subtle things. But I maybe just got more overwhelmed looking at more good stuff. And that portrait of Breagha never got started.
As my friend Gary put it, sometimes "life happens" - I found myself sidetracked by non-art projects (e.g. building a shoe rack for the narrow space by our front door, putting up some shelves, rearranging our computer work area). At some point though I helped do some tiny paintings for an artist in Southern California named Cameron Gray, who puts together these large mosaics with photos of body parts, food, and such things as reference (see a past show). Here are some:
My hiatus hadn't exactly been a vacation, though I must say it has been nice after the kid's in bed to once in a while spend the rest of the evening in the same room with my wife, and not at my easel. And a lot of times I would get lost in a book about falconry or abstruse Old English stuff (which relate to the portrait I want to do), but sometimes I'd just watch news and get mad at the political coverage, which just meant that I was in a worse comfort zone and that I needed to get back. Time the dragon awoke and came out of his barrow....
So, back to the eddoes above - I can’t remember when, but one night at least two months ago I had started painting them, and they then sat there patiently waiting to recapture my attention. So the other night I finished the painting - though by this time the little things had shriveled considerably (getting moldy underneath) and were sprouting real thick, sharp-looking green shoots. It was hard to overlook their present condition and rely more on my memory for some details, but I did my best.