Painting Process – Richmond Painting

Painting

Richmond Painting 2017-03 mod web

Continuing on my path to try and be more abstract, this poor painting went through MANY iterations (not least of which was a completely new reference image after painting on it for about 3-4 sessions). I played with adding cars, removing cars, adding building details, removing details, changed the color palette from a sort of mauvy base to this more cerulean blue base. This is also one of the largest paintings I’ve attempted since college, hitting 3×4 feet. I struggle a lot with the scale. Only in the last 2 sessions did it really click that all I wanted to do was play with colors and layering (versus capturing structural details – my instinctive approach). I feel a little more confident about it, and already have ideas for what I want – no, how I want – to paint next.

Richmond - 1st round

After a few sessions, this was where the painting was. I was not happy with how bright it was and how there was no continuity of palette – just a full on rainbow that barfed on the page. I also was already giving detail I didn’t want.

Richmond - 2nd round

I toned it down and tried to pretend like I didn’t know how to capture the perspective (it was too round and I wanted more angularity). I couldn’t handle it though.

Richmond - nevermind

That’s what I have to say about that painting!

Richmond - 3rd round

Starting fresh. Leaning heavily on my tan/mauve and purple palette. It wasn’t striking a chord though.

Richmond - 4th round Which is how it got so green! This is a sample of when I started adding too much detail (and cars) that I did eventually ditched. Not to say that it wouldn’t be fun to make a realistic painting of San Francisco again some day, but I am really trying to experience this new way of thinking about the process.

Coney Island’s Day Off

Illustration, Painting

So I was going through updating my portfolio site, as one does, and I came across these illustrations I made back at Pratt, when I was taking Lynn Pauley‘s class. We took a trip to Coney Island in the off-season. It was eerily deserted, sand piled up on the boardwalk, carney’s lazily hanging about. It was great. I don’t even remember having a camera at the time, but I guess I was able to capture quite a few reference shots which I pulled this series from.

I was heavily influenced by Pauley’s style in that class. She works very loosely, basically considering nothing sacred, owning, no, cherishing the “mistakes” like a line that didn’t end up where you’d expected, or eraser marks boldly left half erased. I don’t think I ended up owning her style for myself, at least not to the extent that she owns it, but it was such a valuable experience to create something with almost casual ease. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I feel that these paintings that came from the experience feel casual and light-hearted, while still feeling a bit washed out and creepy, which I think was kind of what I was going for at the time.

Psycho Fruit

Painting

psychotitle

I’m definitely digging back way too far with this one, but it is pretty rare that I have a piece/body of work that I did half my lifetime ago that I still enjoy sharing with people and laughing about. Back in my senior year of high school, I was in the AP Art class and we had to create a 16-20 piece body of work on a theme of our choice for our portfolio review at the end of the year. As I was just starting to learn about a variety of artistic movements that took place in the last century or so, I decided it would be fun to paint images that were homages to some of the artists I had learned about, and in some cases admired. But with a touch of absurdity, of course.

While working on a piece that was an exercise on using contrasting colors of the color wheel, I decided to paint a pear stuck in a padded room (yellow/purple color scheme). I enjoyed the mental image of a piece of fruit being psychotic, and so there developed the subject of the rest of the paintings in the series: Psycho Fruit. With the exception of 2 pieces, the psycho pear included, the rest of the series’ paintings do in some way mimic an artist’s style or play off a specific painting by an artist.

I made this awful website ages ago to house this collection, which does get the job done so I haven’t felt much compulsion to make it better since (though one of these days I will have to rephotograph them at a higher resolution). In my typical fashion, I also created and categorized the pieces neatly into 4 series of 4. Mind you, I’m no psychiatrist, so should not have been the one diagnosing these poor fruits, so apologies if any of the neurosis are mis-categorized.

Suicide

If only I had broadened the project to include vegetables, then I would have certainly made the Van Gogh piece an *ear* of corn.

Phobias

Yeah, I don’t think that OCD is technically a paranoia, but I guess I can see why I wanted it to fit nicely into my organizational system.

Psychosis

Ok, Peter Max was an odd outlier amongst the artist I chose to emulate. But really, can you imagine a better muse than a psychedelic artist for a series about psychosis?

Personality Disorders

So that’s the truth of it all. I admit easily that I could do it all much better now (I mean, I’m technically a better painter now), but even with their flaws, I have never really gotten sick of these pieces. It’s probably a sickness of its own, but I really just enjoy how ridiculous they are. I can only imagine what the judges thought when they saw these come across their desks. Clearly they enjoyed them too, as they committed me.  To art school…