Monday, March 22, 2010

Don't never prime over no nothin'!!!!

First of all I would like to start off by saying that I am fully aware of the unforgivable grammatical errors in the title of today's entry. A title like this would earn me an F minus from my high school english teacher and it would cause my college english teacher to faint. Sometimes when you say things off the top of your head with great urgency, the words may come out as seen in the title above. I will now, after calming down, rephrase the statement properly. "Never hastily prime over a finished painting that you believe has failed." This is the lesson of today's entry. I've posted an image of a painting I did in 2003. "Chris, that's a lovely painting of the GRASS ISLAND in Guilford, CT. Whatever became of that one? Is it still available?" you may be asking yourselves. Sadly this painting was primed over and repainted because the artist thought no one would really be interested in purchasing it and since money was tight that week and he was desperate for another canvas to start a new painting, he..................primed over it. "WHAT! HOW COULD HE DO SUCH A THING!" Ughh! I know, I know. I didn't realize this lapse in judgement until a few years after the fact. I had an appointment with a buyer for a painting I had done and I figured I would show some prints of some of my other works. The buyer saw the the Grass Island image and asked me if it was still available. I told the buyer that it wasn't, but I couldn't bring myself to say that I had put this innocent painting to death in a moment of artistic desperation. Since then I've realized that this painting, had it lived, would have found a home by now. After it had been hanging on a wall in our house for a little over a year, I assumed it would never sell. "WELL DUHH!!! That's because you never showed it to anybody!" This was a lesson I learned a second time when I had a small 10"x 10" painting that I considered an experimental throw away piece. I almost got rid of that one too in yet another moment of artistic desperation. ( I get a lot of those moments) When I had another show at the YALE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE I actually decided to put that one in at the last minute and don't you know that thing sold faster than an outfit worn by James Brown in 1977 on an Ebay auction. Not only that, there were others who wanted the piece also. This just goes to show you why you shouldn't prime over a painting you think has failed. Another thing I might add, even if you are absolutely sure that a painting will never leave your studio space and no other eyes will behold it; except for maybe your cat who needs reading glasses, hold on to it anyways because in 2 or 3 years time you may look at again and see how you've progressed as an artist. Every so often I'll look at things I've done 13 or 14 years ago whilst studying at PAIER and say "OK, clearly I was rushing this painting assignment so I could watch 8-TRACK FLASH BACK on VH1" So remember all you bloggers THINK BEFORE YOU PRIME OVER THAT "FAILED" PAINTING.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Oh, D-D-D-Dear!!!!" - piglet

Untitled 9"x10" oil

Pardon my absence. I've recently discovered FACEBOOK as a means of reaching people with my art. Whilst doing that, I've also begun to explore landscape painting. I've found this to be very enjoyable because for me putting a figure into a painting takes alot more time. Eliminating the figure allows me to give attention to other aspects of a painting. When it's strictly landscape I have much more leeway and flexibility; if I want to add an extra tree in the foreground I can do so. This, however, is not the case with an arm, leg, hand or nose. I've posted a painting I found in our basement.(How did that get down their?) It was done En Plein-Aire. (outdoors) I think it was either in Madison or Guilford, I can't remember. I'm still planning to paint figures, but landscapes will allow me broaden my understanding of light, shadow, color and value. I may even add woodland creatures; such as a squirrel or a deer to these images if I can get good photo references. Speaking of woodland creatures, several years ago I actually saw, and I am not making this up, a lost dear on on Whalley Ave. in New Haven near the corner of Orchard St. Nobody knew how the deer wound up all the way down in the city. The poor little deer was as confused as James Brown finding out his tour manager booked him to perform for seven nights in a row at The Grand Ole Opry. ( I have a wierd habit of using singer James Brown as the basis for metaphores and similis.) Stay tuned for my next entry.