Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Jar

The things people throw away become part of a microcosm growing and/or decaying, being consumed and consuming. Each piece of detritus is the seed of change an evolutionary chink in our planet. The full potential of these plantings has yet to be realized. There is a cosmology of destruction and growth contained within an environment encapsulated. The glass jar will never decompose but the metal lid slowly oxidizes rusting away as chunks fall into and around. Once the air penetrates the semi-opaque contents are warmed by the sun slowly turning the jelly yellow-brown, releasing the unctuous aroma of petroleum within. In 50 years the soft pvc lining on the underside of the lid begins to decay perhaps cracking becoming brittle, taking over 450 years to breakdown. The glass jar may at some point be crushed melding container and contents with the mulch of rotted wood, leaves and dirt. Various bugs, seeds, plantlife unfortunate enough to fall into the jar become encased in the petroleum become part of the soup of jelly crushed glass, plastic and mulch.

Painterly Challenge

Every once in a while I do a painting that just does not want to be painted. 
At the outset of this painting I carefully planned my landscape, drawing it out in charcoal and planning where the colours would go.  I then executed an underpainting blocking some of the basic forms and the darker areas using raw umber and some lighter shades of the colours I wanted to fiinish the painting with.  The palette for this painting lime green,  red orange, chcolate brown and ceruleian blue.  I let the underpainting dry.   Then I started brushing thin coats of colour mixed with linseed oil.  Intent upon building the layers as I paint; fat over lean, light to dark to get the full effect of layering oils and to bring out the light through the colours.  A half an hour of concentrating intently as I paint and the drool starts to form at the corner of my mouth.  Next thing I am leaning back in my chair, brush in hand, head back, mouth open with snores softly issuing.
I awake abruptly feeling refreshed.  I chuckle as I realize that once again I am trying to subvert my nature as a painter.  I love to paint but usually with heavy impasto.  I love the texture of paint mixed to the consistancy of butter and then slathered onto the canvas.  The very fact that I fell asleep while doing my own painting, well its kind of sad, but simply demonstrates that I was bored out of my skull.

A painters style is something developed over time, most often over years of work. I believe that it is marked by what the artist finds most exciting about painting mixed at times with a little dose of luck. Whether an artist paints realistic, impressionistic, abstract, expressionist etc., the primary requirement to developing your skill is to paint and to keep on painting but paint what interests you.