Bamboo Figures (26 of 36)
Khmer IV (25 of 36)
I hemmed and hawed over how much of the original ink drawing should be left to bleed through. There didn’t seem to be a right answer. With this one I felt like I was beginning to get the right feel for when I wanted it to bleed and when the paint needs to go opaque.
Khmer IV (24 of 36)
The idea of washes and glazes became obvious with the pen and ink drawings. The layering of color leaves a luminousity that is flattened by the camera. In person, light penetrates several semi-transparent layers of pigment over top one another and creates a shiney impression in person. The camera chooses a color and goes with it, creating a blotchy effect.
The great thing about this style is that the ink drawing is part of the final point of interest and its also easy to reproduce. I could duplicate the under drawing and create multiple painted versions of the same pen and ink. The modelling of the lawn, brick and sky in this piece could be done in at least 4 or 5 dozen which ways, at least, but I’d only have to draw it once.
(22 of 36)
We went to see these Khmer Ruins. The geometry of it all was mind blowing. I figured I could do something with these for a long time and come up with the kind of stuff that I could sell to tourists who show up at these spots. By this time I secured plywood from a hardware store, no more cardboard. I cut up similar sized panels and was going to do a series of Khmer ruin inspired paintings and sell them in the parking lot.
I never go back to the lot, but I get the series done. In the future, I am going to record the ink drawing first, and then create transfers and paint it up a bunch of different ways. These are all one time shots now.
POO (21 of 36)
So I returned to a point of origin, Impressionism. I remembered something Harold Speed wrote about studying Monet’s brushstrokes. At the time I made pseudo impressionist paintings, my brush strokes were all hack and slash. So I figured I could go back with what I knew about brush strokes now and see if I could find a spark somewhere. The work is derivative, but I found what I needed.
(20 of 36)
My fever calmed down and after feeling something like chagrin about the cow, I decided to start trying something different. Some workers were putting together a laundry mat building for us. I figured I would try to render this in an editorial style, line drawn, very washed out. It turned out cartoonishly goofy and I was beginning to feel lost, like neither of my last two efforts showed anything worth following up on and I couldn’t remember the last painting I’d even done that I actually cared for want of revisit.
(19 of 36)
Sometimes the process leads to something, even if its not where you think you want to be.
I was in a really uncertain position here. I had just spent several days following cattle around, drawing them in the field. I wanted to get the hang of trying to hit the right moment, because my plan was to do some salable landscapes, and salable landscapes have to have an organic looking staging. The way to simulate that is to get a feel for natural positioning. There is nothing natural about any of the positioning in studio work, that means you have to get the moment in the field as its happening.
I wanted to start painting, but I got heat sick. Then I got real sick and was in bed with diarrhea and fever for 5 days. The whole time I am raring to get started on a painting, so I don’t lose my momentum. By about day 3, I was in a low hum delerium, all visual geometry games and meaningless numbers chasing in the daydream stream. The way I silence the daydream concious is by channeling into painting to get out of the ones that are fevered. This is what I painted until I lost my strength and had to take a break. It worked, my fever dreams started up around baseball instead of geometric visuals.
Strange painting, the back of the picture is part of the piece, its a Chang Beer cardboard box. The icon is of two elephants under a tree. This was unintentional, but the relationship between the two sides turns out to be very meaningful for the work. That’s how it is in the fever fog, I am sure I picked this up, glanced at the CHANG beer side, flipped it over and didn’t realize I was aping the other side. But I couldn’t hold two thoughts together at the time. The reason I was using that cardboard is because while the shitty art store in town had a crappy set of oil paints, they did not have any canvas or any other suitable material to paint on, so I cut up card board at home and just used that.
Cattle 5 (18 of 36)
I plan to do it on my inner forearm, the shoulders and base of the neck framing where my biceps and forearm meet, with the head aimed back at my hand. I am going to redraw the horns so they are hooked instead of stupid. The points of the hooks are going to touch the ulna and radius where they bulge out at the wrist.
I’ve been digressing on cave style paintings of cattle and animals for awhile now, and I followed a bunch around in Thailand to get a better look at the source material. It was interesting to later learn that the water buffalo has a role in the cultural legend here. He is a protector of life in some stories and does things like gore legendary serpents that can poison entire rivers. At other times, he plays a sexually mischievous role in the way that giant bulls can in Greek-like dramas, seducing goddesses out of turn and such and drawing horrible rebukes from Zeus like super deities.