I’m always getting better at creating the illusion of surface character. The mountain view above went a bit nuts on me – yep, it sure did. Geez, you might not even be able to tell what it is, but even so, I’m kinda thrilled by it. And all that seeming texture you see is actually painted or printed. You wouldn’t think it, but the picture’s surface is utterly smooth.
You can’t say that about the next picture though! The surface of that grainy, crumbly old mountain in the mist is horrifically beat up. I’m not certain the sheets would stay together if I hung ’em up! For the version I’m showing you, I’ve digitally mounted them on a brown, deckled edged sheet (did it in Photoshop). I’ll probably have to something like this for real to keep this picture together.
If you spend a little time looking close at my pictures, you’ll discover that their surfaces are often very complex – a world within the world I’m portraying. I like altering my paper. It’s as if my pictures end up being as much in their sheets as on them!
I’m pretty much always at work somewhere within a long line of paintings & drawings. This was the one I did right after the mountain view I showed you yesterday. You can tell it was the next step. That’s how it goes with me – one picture leads to another – and ever on. No wonder there are stacks of work all over the place up here, in various stages of completion or crisis!
I’m learning all the time. Now I know that textures/marks/movements that you can see through are beguiling. Being able to look into the stacked up layers makes a picture seem more real to me, as if I’ve got it right all the way through.
Found this drawing in a discard pile! I bet I put it there thinking it was a bit too whacked, but now? Nope! In fact, I’m getting the urge to do more nutso kitties!
I’m beginning to realize how far I’ve come with my grays. They’re frustratingly hard to use well, but what power they have when I get it right! I think this picture has even more presence than the one I showed you yesterday, without depending so much on potent darks! Actually, both pictures together are a good pairing.
I’m also very pleased with the conversation/visual balance between all of the textures – both painted and real. And it looks almost as if this picture happened on it’s own too. It didn’t, of course, but the more I get out of the way, the better my work seems to become.
Here, take a closer look at each of the sheets to see what I mean:
This seems to be a favorite among my little circle of advisors. The scan is also particularly good.
CLICK IT TO GET A REALLY GOOD LOOK!
Yep, you’ve seen a studio snapshot of this one already, but now we have a REALLY fine scan – and the picture is so lovely that you must see it as it should be seen!
There are areas in the wings that are some of the nicest, most unimpeded ink work I’ve done. Yet it all turned out EXACTLY RIGHT! What’s the lesson in this? Thinkin’ on it.
The texture/scraping in the stem at right, and the scrubbed graininess of the bloom are especially wonderful. This is a tires old Autumn bloom, past it’s glory but stubbornly holding on.
Here are enlarged views of each sheet:
Sometimes it’s just a little scrap of a cat found in a forgotten pile!
This has such presence! Why do certain pictures so claim their personality? Doesn’t seem to have much to do with me.
There’s brushwork and tricksy stuff happening in there, but also plenty of inked collage. And my method has turned very geologic = grinding, sanding, wrinkling twisting & torquing. At the end of it all, it took more time to get the picture stabilized!
Here are closer views:
A quick romp in grays = abstract + grainy + quick off my brush. There’s a lot of artifact too – and by that I mean all the marks/detritus that happened on their own along side the marks I meant to make.
I often move to fast to be neat – – – and isn’t neat pretty darned boring? It lacks surprise.
Here is the picture that led to the one I showed you yesterday, except this is a really good scan. Much better than a quick snapshot, right? Now you can see (and I hope appreciate) some of the nuance and cacophony that so often play tag in my ink work. I try very hard to layer and intermix textures you might not expect.
CLICK THE PICTURE TO SEE IT LARGER – QUITE WORTH IT!
Just finished this mountain & water view – here’s a quick snapshot. Can’t wait to flatten/scan it. Then you’ll REALLY see it! There’s soooo much texture, grain and contrast happening in there that it almost hums with energy. Many more new pictures are coming too – keep watching!
Happy Sunday. If it’s lovely where you are, get out into the day – I’m gonna – – –
Your Buddy Bill
This incidental little fellow was forgotten in a pile of almost (but not quite) losers. What was he doing there? Kind of like him, so he has been cleaned up and on his way to being flattened/scanned.
Now I must get down to a day’s serious work!
More to come – – – –
Your Buddy Bill
Done a few minutes ago while chatting with a sick friend. Should I just keep adding sheets and keep going?
Why do I have the urge to put a bunch of ants in there too? Dali might have done it!
It began so well, but then the whole attitude of this picture shook lose and I lost control. Things that at first looked just great (like the head and hint of lower left wing), now look out of place. I don’t know how to fix or finish this mess but I must – it’s so close to exceptional. If I can just stretch. Hope I’ve got that reach!
I am burying myself in bug pictures and butterfly wings! Don’t know where these came from or why I have such a strange compulsion.
My most pleasant surprise is that a lot of the transfer printing and painting I’ve been doing is suddenly working incredibly well. How is this possible? The charm of my method is that when things do work, the results are as marvelous as they are unpredictable. Of course, the flip side is that with so little control, unredeemable messes are just as likely! Yet I’ve wanted incredible butterfly wings and time after time I’m getting them!
I AM AMAZED! They are COOL. And they look almost as if they emerged all on their own without any help from me. Which means now I’m in kind of a jam: how on earth do I put little bodies in the middle of all of these wings that have the same spontaneous, happenstantial feel? I have absolutely no idea – – – yet.
Exuberant, graphic bugs are happening too. They’re done with rapid intensity and it seems like they end up finally working only after I’ve given up on them and started making crazy, what-the-hell moves!
And finally, comes the oddest little beastie of all. I’m not even sure it’s an insect! That whole, squarish, head-ish area (on the left side) is made of scraps torn from other dead paintings and taped down. Actually to be precise, it’s mostly the backs of the scraps you’re seeing, where ink has bled or been driven through.
Oh what is going on? Up is down. Wrong is right. Or maybe it’s still just wrong. All I know is that I must keep my balance and keep going.
I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up doing a whole lot more blooms. Many may go goofy – as this one did. So, big fun ahead!
Often, one or both sides of a two-sheeter looks quite fine on it’s own. Leaves me wondering if they should just be singles?
Why oh why suddenly moths? Am certain no artist ever thought I am going to become the greatest moth painter. Could it be the unexpected path towards wisdom?
This is the quickest of snapshots, taken right on my worktable. More coming along right behind this one. Will post as I go!
CLICK THIS PIC TO GET A GOOD LOOK!
You know there are stacks of half finished pictures up here in my lair. In fact, I have a hard time finding the ones I want to work on!
So, it just makes perfect sense that instead of dealing with what I’ve already started, I should begin still more – and decide to MAKE ‘EM REALLY BIG!
The 3-sheet dragonfly under way (at top) is a monster at 54 inches wide, while the one below (at left) is 2/3rds that. AND I’m starting to stack panels too. At right are three seemingly mismatched sheets from my Norwegian mountain pictures pile. Not sure why I’m looking at them this way, but something’s tickling my intuition. Wonder what it is and how it’ll sort out?
Am just about finished with this ‘ol Norwegian Mountain. 50-ish seems like a nice number. Some still to finish and I’m sure a few random others will dribble out, but I’m already beginning to shift gears.
You should see what I’ve been working on this week – soon enough I’ll show you!
Have the finest day!
Your Buddy Bill
PS: am intrigued with the notion of dark detail in/against dark backgrounds. Want to take it to where you can barely see what’s in there. The image up top is on the way, although I have much farther to go.
PPS: I like how the mist in the other painting below came out!