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I’m still wrestling with these bigger 3-sheet pictures, wearing out my desire to keep painting scary fishes and trying to figure out exactly how to begin landscapes I don’t know how to do. To stall for time until my head catches up, I’m trying to either finish or pitch work that has been hanging around half finished for far too long. This way I feel like I’m doing something practical (and hopefully worthwhile).
I don’t even know what to think of the fish (if it is a fish) up above. At first I hated it – now I kinda like it, though I’m not sure how it happened. I was behind the game in that picture from the moment I started it. EVERYTHING went wrong. In frustration at one point, I even poured a whole glass of water over it! Yet in the end it still worked out. Ooooooh, I DON’T understand how this all works!
Here are some closer views of the same painting – – –
I’ve also finished these fishes – – –
And here are some single sheet waves too – – –
Been trying very hard since my last post, with successes and failures to show for it. Probably more of the latter than the former, but this working bigger deal has quite the learning curve. Slowly, I’m getting some sense of where I’m headed though. I’m mostly painting scary fish still, though I sense I will wear them out soon enough. There is a bit more to explore and also quite a few pictures to finish.
Here is a big line up of show-n-tell for you, starting with a closer look at the spooky fellow above:
Bigger surface areas mean different mark making – and an increased importance in letting blank paper play an equal role in the mix. I knew this going in but even so, it’s as if these are new lessons. Sometimes the balance is just right, as in this next one:
Two detail views:
Hang on now – because here comes the rest of the latest fleet!
I painted this last one horizontally, but like it much better vertically!
Although in truth, fish like these would keep me outta the ocean – or at least from going in past my knees!
Also, the unfinished fish are stacking up. Turns out I’m afraid of fins. Gonna have to face my phobia and get ’em done. Maybe today?
Here are close ups of the scary dude above:
Kinda wild – and kinda finished!
That big swipe that made the gill plate was done with a dry brush dragged through ink already down on the sheet. Could have been a disaster. Such things often are. But this time – WOW! It’s the whole reason I continually opt for risky moves!
Had bigger plans for this one, but got this far and said, “Nope – done!”
Does he desperately need fins or is he just decomposing, in which case he’s also done?
Finally, two from yesterday’s effort – still need their teeth – – –
Can’t believe how quickly time skates by. When I’m in my Winter studio hibernation, a week seems like a day if I am feeling challenged and unsure of myself. Apparently I’ve also gone fishing. I didn’t expect to end up painting these pictures! Now that I’m struggling, I wonder how the hell I let myself get here.
The truth is, I don’t really know where “here” is – except that it’s a familiar confusion when I’m chasing creativity. My mark making is turning increasingly unruly and raw, but sometimes it all works out. The scary old fish above is pretty good. Below is a closer look – – –
This next one came out wonderfully too!
Sooner or later it was bound to happen. I’ve been using my hands to further manipulate and add texture to my mark making for quite awhile. Why not use other body parts, like maybe – – – my face? Yep, I did that. The photo above was taken right after the attempt!
Here let me take you through it: below is me and the picture I did my face off with. And yes, I can look like a fish if I want to!
Here is a better snapshot of the painting – – –
A closer look at the fish’s head – can you see mine in there too?
Here’s a little more help – to the left of where my ear imprinted is a really textured area that my beard made. Above that is a bit of indistinct cheekbone and left temple!
Okay, I’m working much larger now than previously – on three sheets, which together are 4 feet wide. I started out thinking I might paint dragons. Not sure why – just had the urge. The picture above was my first try and wow, so cool, right out the box! I was THRILLED – – – but then, my next efforts began falling apart one after the other. In fact, there are lotsa failures happening. Oh and also, my dragons quickly started morphing into scary, deep sea fishes too?!?
Curious times here – gonna be uncomfortable reaching upwards for awhile!
I don’t quite know why I feel compelled to paint dragons, but there you go – I can’t help it. AND I’m not really sure how to do it!?!
Everything has it’s own graphics and moves, but what does this new mark making tool kit actually look like? AND just to make things even more challenging – I’m at last seriously tackling LARGE multiple sheet pictures. Bottom line: big space and envisioning imaginary creatures requires a major change of brain. My gears are grinding. I smell smoke.
I’ve done soooooo many more of wave pictures than I had expected to! Geez.
Am over a 100 paintings into what I at first thought would be a much smaller group of pictures that are loosely based on Hokusai’s iconic woodblock print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa. This series is getting more and more powerful – and I’m EXCITED!
I wonder why I like pictures that are just a little over the edge of being indistinct? These all started out as blooms, and maybe they still are just that – but they’re also a little like cloud gazing. If you look at the shapes you begin to see what they could be.
Have fun with these!
It happens a lot lately: I make a few moves and all of the sudden things look so good I must stop right there! The picture above is the perfect example of this.
Is it a wave – or at least the strange diagram of a wave? It doesn’t matter. This image so quickly became itself (and the graphic was so strong) that on two previous attempts I didn’t even get this far! Maybe my marks are becoming just themselves and I’m learning to let ’em.
Spring will come again, but not before long cold months of hard working studio time. Am on it now. Lots to do and I’m lucky!
When I call what I do ink slinging, I sometimes mean just that!
I am HAVING SO MUCH FUN with these BIG wave pictures! Had forgotten how thrilling in-your-face, BIG BLACK mark making is.
For a very long while, I’ve had a reproduction of Hokusai’s THE GREAT WAVE OFF KANAGAWA hanging in my studio (on my inspiration wall). That’s it above, and it truly deserves to be the iconic image it has become.
Is it any wonder that I would eventually begin doing wave paintings of my own, in a sort of visual chat with Hokusai? They started strange – and have kept tilting further since! Below are a few of the first ones – I’ll show you more as soon as I take snapshots – – –
It’s time to sweep out the dusty corners of my year’s creative effort!
That means two things: I must attack the big stack of half finished or stalled pictures that has been piling up since last Spring. I either have to finish them or let go! While I’m at it, I also need to wear out this fixation I’ve had with big, showy blooms lately. The only way to do it is to paint a whole bunch at once and keep going until I’m sick and tired of ’em. Then I can move on!
This is the pile of incomplete work I mentioned – – –
And here are some of the wonderful, odd pictures in it – they so deserve further effort!
Here are quick snapshots of some of yesterday’s effort. I still think of these as pictures of blooms, but are they really? Or have my starting notions just become the jump off point for where my mark making takes me next? Lots to ponder, and I’m not enough of a thinker!
Sometimes I worry that the scrap that builds up beside my ink slinging is more interesting than the pictures I paint. I hope not! Yet I keep an eye on things because happenstance sometimes throws me little gifts.
In this next photo, you see a scrap of paper on which I was merely testing ink consistency. It was only a few days later that I realized that by pure chance, it was almost a flower picture all on it’s own. So I did a bunch of paintings in response!
I particularly like the crumbly, deteriorating moves in the next two – layer after layer of ground in, scrubbed out, replenished and overpainted mark making. Such a paradox, trying to pair spontaneity with intentional overworking. Sheesh . . .
I’m back at it hard and weeeeeird pictures are tumbling off of my brush. Loving it! Apparently, I’m still stuck on snapping turtles and BIG, splashy blooms. Must wear out these compulsions so I can move on.
What a terrible fate, huh? So sad that I must keep painting things I have such fun with.