Monday, November 28, 2005

Make A Painting!

Today I thought I'd demonstrate the steps for creating a painting since every now and then I can't even open my Inbox, so tightly crammed it is with requests to do so. (Did all you people know that I paint? Remember that? Oh, some of you thought I was just one of those excessively bloggy moms. But not just! Read on.)
People are cheap these days. D.I.Y. will ruin the artworld, but sobeit. That's inevitable. So I will capitulate to the demands of the public and shall, over the next week or so, show you all how to make this painting, a painting for our times called, "Headin' For The Hills." However, I am omitting the steps of surface prep because, frankly, surface prep would bore you.
Also, I tend to pay extra these days for somebody else to prep.

Step one: Think about the article in The New Republic about impending doom where the author, Richard A. Posner, rightly says, "Americans simply do not accept the inevitability of disaster." Think about it a lot. Think about it on the subway and then pull out your sketch journal and sketch a mother dragging her puzzled kids into the forest as they literally run for the hills, disaster at their backs. Accept the inevitability of disaster. Close journal.

Step two: Redraw image, freehand, onto 24 x 24 in. gessoed surface. Use frantic and scribbly lines because frantic and scribbly is how you feel on the inside. Glaze with a gravy colored transparent layer of medium to seal the graphite.

Step three: Insert sky. I work from the distance forward. So will you, I guess.

Step four: Eat lunch, blog.

To be continued....(as is my inner panic.)

P.S. Speaking of disaster, Big Mike caught it all the way in Australia, but did anybody else notice the Killer Balloons at this years Macy's Thanksgiving Parade? See? Next year, only mylar Get Well balloons allowed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i took art lessons from a local artist who had a small studio set back in the far corner of her property. i felt that i needed to paint. up to that point, i could only draw. pencil, charcoal, pen and ink. basically anything without color.

i started fairly early, and went until my early teen years. i quit. it wasn't that i was horrible, or that i couldn't paint worth a damn. the problem was that i could never capture my emotions on the canvas. i wanted the paint to embody my thoughts and feelings and visions. but they never did. so i gave up.

i think this is why i really love your work. they aren't just paintings. your work is like music. i don't need to know what you were thinking when you painted it, or what the true meaning behind it is. i look at it and it becomes something real to me.

but enough of my rambling. i'm just overwhelmed with glee that you're sharing the whole process with us.


ps. you're friggin' awesome

6:08 PM  
Anonymous fatty said...

i read this entry three times and spent several minutes looking at the stages of your painting (so far). not like i have anything to do with it, but i always take a lot of pride in having a genuinely talented painter for a sister.

that said, i'm having a little trouble with "the sealing the graphite in" step. specifically, i seem to have started a small fire. okay, it's a medium-sized fire, and seems to be growing. is that supposed to happen?

i anxiously await your next post, so i can find whether / when it's ok to put this fire out.

11:34 PM  
Blogger newbrooklyner said...

Matt-(sometimes I believe you are really my mom) you say the best things. Thank you. I understand how you could have become frustrated at not getting onto the canvas that which you meant to. All paintings (or songs, poems, plays, books, cakes, etc.) are actually two: the one in the painter's head and the one that comes out of the painter's hand. Sometimes the one in the head is much better, sometimes the one on the outside surpasses the one in the head. It's tough, that shape-shifting. Often, I've learned to accept the shape-shift and go with it. Maybe you could too?

fatty, you being proud of me means so much to me. I want to insert some sarcasm here, because I feel like I better beat dug to the punch. But, it is what it is. I think I took up skateboarding in Alamosa to achieve this very sensation.

Oh, and fire is definitely part of the process.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your mom? i suppose i've been called worse. is she cute at least?


11:19 AM  
Anonymous dug said...

are paintings good investments?

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Errorista said...

There was a time where I could copy your style. I remember when I was about picture you drew on paper with pencil, and I laid a piece of paper over it, traced it, and signed my own name. I was really baffled when it turned out that this made you very mad. Still, if I was able to copy what you do now, I would. Unfortunately, this process you're describing has totally stopped me.

1:46 PM  
Blogger BIG Mike said...

I can't even draw a stick figure that doesn't need an interogation to interpret. My wife on the other hand, generates oil paintings of a quality that, when given as gifts, actually get displayed for more than the polite 3 visits.

5:30 PM  
Blogger newbrooklyner said...

anonymatt: She's friggin' cute. But mostly absolutely supportive.

dug: Yes. And deals can be had. If possible, go back to about the year 1968, find a janitor in Chicago named Henry Darger, and ask him about the Vivian Girls. Purchase everything in his filthy apartment. Then you will be rich today.
(I love Henry Darger by the way. Everybody should.)

erroristomaticom: You were Warhol-ing me. I used to be sensitive about that. I'm ok with it now.

Big Mike: people all the time say they can't even draw a stick figure. they shouldn't feel too badly though because stick figures aren't respected much anyway.

10:42 PM  
Blogger dr. fluffy jones said...

wow. newbrooklyner, thanks for making one of the first comments on my blog. I think i'll enjoy doing it. but i'm writing here because you ARE friggin' awesome for showing this process. I'm taking painting classes (not a 'painter') and you filled in a couple of important steps for me! sealing the graphite. DAMN. why didn't I think of that? And confirmed that the initial thought process is very close to what I go through, but so far it has taken me 40 years, and I'm just getting to actually doing it, so i'm very stoked. In my case, the sketching was done in a good thai restaurant at the bar while behind me a man suddenly fell into a seizure. He's okay. But art is weird! THANKS!

3:20 PM  

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