My aaart continues. And while a lot has changed since my earlier forays, two things remain true: I keep a safe distance from representational art, and I damn near never use yellow. Not successfully, anyway. Always hate whatever I come up with and paint right over it.
Some recentish work:
My interior monologue lately has been going back and forth between "This really sucks, I am so tired, and I don't know what I'm going to do" and "Take a deep breath and stop being such a spaz. Things are going to be fine. They could even be great!"
As mine is not a particularly sophisticated artistic sensibility, I think the paintings I've made lately (two samples below) are showing the polarity almost directly. Subtlety, complexity, imagery . . . fuck that shit.
And the sparkly:
Yep, I painted bright colors and put beads on them. Shiny, shiny beads, like in your first-grade recess on rainy days. (Detail below.)
This regression leads me to suspect that my calmer, more optimistic impulse is, in fact, completely stupid and possibly dangerous. We shall see.
As once before, I'm posting some of the paintings I've been making. I have no illusions that they are objects of great beauty, but just making them and their unphotographed companions has been doing a lot to keep me sane, so I regard them with affection. And I actually kinda like the blossom one all on its own.
These are gradually being used to alleviate my apartment's bare wall problem, which just shows how nice and encouraging my roommates are.
Note: The fourth one down has the unfair advantage of having been used as a test subject when I was practicing with my new tripod. All the others were snapped in standard half-ass fashion. And in defense of the last one, there's a whole thing with iridescent paint blended into the softer green stripes that ain't showing up at all. I . . . I don't know.
One of the weirder side effects of this year's incessant awfulness has been a notable uptick in my craftiness quotient.
I always liked doing art, but I was never particularly good at it; I'm very uncoordinated and just can't make the pen/pencil/paintbrush/etc move in the right way to make the line/shape/etc I'm seeing in my head. So since the end of high school, I've more or less stuck with doing design on computers; I'm not a genius there, either, but on a computer the gap between talent and diligently acquired skill is much narrower. I can fake it more easily.
But being messed up has made me dissatisfied with that alone. Ever since the roommate art night in September, I've been on a hands-on craftiness bender, and the casualties are mounting.
Below are badly photographed (not false modesty, I really didn't bother to photograph them properly, it would take longer than they're worth) paintings I have made, each taking anywhere from 20 minutes to three. whole. hours. Oh yes, my artistic devotion, it rivals the masters.
These are by no means all of them. Maybe half or three fifths. These tiny things are littering my apartment. I can't believe my roommates haven't maced me yet, or made me eat my oil paints. Instead, they joke about my new hobby and make kind noises about the rectangles they find drying on the bricks outside our door.
As oil painting was the absolute nadir of my high school art classes--I could NOT make it work--I don't know why I find it so calming now. But it is; the simple process of moving the brush over the canvas is immensely soothing, and then (several days of drying later) I have a block of color to throw on the wall.
And, yes, they're all pretty much blocks of (sometimes iridescent) color, except where I threw in scraps of a photo or some plastics I got for about a buck at this neato shop on Canal St. The exception is the horse I tried to paint for my roommate's birthday (she wanted a pony, and since we can't keep a real one in the apt., I tried to paint her one), which I think will make eminently clear why I stick with abstract painting. I SUCK AT REPRESENTATIONAL ART. At least with swirls and grains the viewer doesn't know how off I was from what I intended.
Aaaand I'm still messing around with Photoshop. I sat down to crop a photo of myself to update my Friendster page and, the moment I opened the file, I immediately began fucking with it instead of just correcting levels and shrinking it like non-spastic people do. Still haven't updated my profile! But I have a pleasantly odd photo:
The wall in our living room was too bare for too long, and my roommate Nina decided to do something about it: when she found a gigantic painting on the street, she took it. There was only one problem.
It was ugly. Really, really ugly. Not the type of ugly that bespeaks experimentation or a willingness to challenge the audience, but the type of ugly that bespeaks never having mastered perspective. Or shading. Or . . . anything. It was a big, faded, ugly, badly painted pasture.
But as luck would have it, I came into a big stash of oil paint (primarily ultramarine blue and white) some time ago. So, we scheduled our first ever Roommate Art Night, armed ourselves with paintbrushes and magazines, and set forth to create our masterpiece.
The collective result, so far (it ain't finished yet):
On the whole, it looks surprisingly cool. I take the blame for that black and white spot in the middle that's mucking things up; it was a picture of a rat, and it just didn't work out. It'll get covered before we're done.
For a brief activity--maybe an hour and change--it was pretty great. You can also tell a lot about the dispositions in the apartment by our respective contributions. For instance:
Nina is funny and open (hence the flow and the O face picture selection):
Caitlin is cheerful and bright:
And I am depressing:
Note: I did NOT paint that face; it's a clipping of an ad for Divers/cité that I ripped from one of Caitlin's magazines. Likewise, Nina found the guy and his fish, I just decided to put it there. The Happy Bunny card was mine, though.