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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mugshot 77 Cow Mask

Looking at Freud regularly these days. It sort of puts you in a gray frame of mind. This one was more difficult than I expected, that cow mask required some real  investigation. I painted it first and as I adjusted it to the nose mouth ratio (correct relationship of nose to mouth) the horns went off the top and Elmo went off the bottom.  So back to drawing on paper to get the image accurate, kind of. Second try, this one, I managed to get some of everything on there.  A subconscious part of my interior engine wants to make everything, everything life size. Sometimes I see painters who use calipers to measure the head, and I want to run screaming into the street.

This mask also moos.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Mugshot 76

Ok, ok, it's NOT primitive. I used the term incorrectly.  I have long lamented that I CAN'T make a real primitive painting because my brain is already too trained.  But in this painting, I did it in a very short time, two sessions of about 40 minutes each, and I didn't worry about stuff, just worked fast and put the paint on thick and sort of mushed it around where I needed it to be.  I'm looking for a different way to work, to put the paint on the surface and I don't know what that way is.  I think I did this guy so often my head already knew where things went and I could concentrate on other stuff.  All in all, the process of this one was the most satisfying.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mugshot 75 for John M.

I have been wrestling with this one for a while. The first one, smaller, I think 8 inches square, was a sort of quick practice to see what I was up against. I got, as usual, the face too short, primarily in the nose to eye section. (My own face is short there and this poisons my eye.) But I just forged ahead anyway, playing a bit with the color. This is an actual mugshot of an alleged criminal and the photos are usually very bad, but this one did have a violent blue background that was interesting. I also was reading a borrowed book on Marsden Hartley at this time and fell hard for him  and his painting. Do not want to give up this book! One of the many interesting things discussed was the way he related everything to the color black.  And also, there was the idea of the elegy.  Many of the strongest paintings of his seem elegiac. I LOVE NOIR! So - between the blue one and the one above, I tried to figure how I would deal with the element of sorrow that I find in almost all real mugshots. They are either mournful or mournfully funny.  Actually mournfully funny is of the first order.
On to the second one, above the blue one. I tried to keep it mournful. Meh. Not so interesting.  In the third one, the top,  I lightened the background some so his hair would come forward and gave myself over to the color in skin. Lots of yellow and yellow green, although I tried to keep it to a purple/yellow range mostly. So now I'm sick of the whole thing. However, today I decided I would try ONE LAST TIME and paint a primitive painting (a la Marsden, my man) in which I did not worry about likeness or anything else but just whacked it in for the pure fun of it.  I am halfway done with it, will finish up tomorrow.  The thing is, this guy has such a beautiful mouth, it is so exciting to paint it. Maybe in the last painting I can do it justice.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Possible Family Member in the Bathtub

OK, so this one is a present for the 40th birthday of the sitter who may or may not be a family member.
I did it a million times trying NOT to get a likeness so she would be unrecognizable to her children and of course, I couldn't help but get her exactly. If only you could make that law work FOR you rather than against.