Wherein, once again we are pulling up stakes and moving to a new home. I’ve simply had too many problems with Yahoo-hosted WordPress lately, and Yahoo tells me that they are unable to fix the various and sundry issues that impede me. They say they provide WordPress as a courtesy and aren’t prepared to support it.
So, I decided to get out while the getting was good. I was finally able to make a good backup of the blog, and I was eventually able to import into regular WordPress. (I tried Blogger as well, but Blogger decided it didn’t wish to play.) Everything looks fine, though the appearance still needs to be tweaked and detailed. Such things will come in time.
As for now, henceforth, all activity will appear in the new location.
I’ve just spent the last couple of days trying to fix this blog. Comments were repaired by Yahoo tech support, but then I could no longer access the control panel or any of the other functions. The blog itself seemed to be fine, which lessened the worry somewhat, but damn do I need to do regular backups. (I thought Yahoo’s “snapshot” thing did that, but I guess I was mistaken.)
Anyway, more soon. Providing everything works….
UPDATE: Aaaaaaand, comments are broken again. It’s time to commence some serious drinking.
Greetings and felicitations. Hip hip hoorah. Tally ho!
When we last left the paintblog world, we had a painting that looked like this:
Fair enough, it was just starting to take shape. And so, why not push it into a somewhat better shape?
The inner droplet looked a bit too bright for me, so I painted a bunch of stuff in, then decided I liked that less, and darkened it up more. Didn’t take any interim pix, sorry about that, but you know, omelets and eggs.
Of course, that’s a bit too dark, so I took out some small brushes and put in dabs of color. At present, the painting looks like this–
One of the things that I like about the original droplet is that the randomness of the various colors inside actually works really well–it looks like it’s reflecting something “off camera” as it were, something we can’t quite see. And I’m trying to shore that impression up with the shadow droplet. Obviously, being half-hidden by leaf, it can’t be quite as “obvious” as the main droplet, but I’d like it to contribute.
Which means I’m not quite done with the inner droplet. The problem I face for the moment is that dark greens and blues tend to take a long time to dry, so anything I might add now would be a blend and not a stand-alone highlight. So, I just have to give it more time. But I do have to confess I like where this is going. I don’t know where it’s going, and it may end up in someplace boring, but at least it’s SOMETHING. SOMETHING I can point to and say, “Well, I did that.”
There’s not a lot these days where I can do that. So I scramble to gather accomplishments, as any scavenger, any scavenger worth the name, does. And perhaps, who knows…
Anyway, that is the state of things. As always, I appreciate your visits. Thank you!
So, this entry will summarize the work that’s been done during the month of August, 2013. I don’t want to disappoint you, well, not too much anyway, but I did nothing on the canvases you’ve already seen. As I said in my last (non) entry, my new philosophy seems to be, why finish anything when you can start something else and move the problem down the road?
So, here’s what we started with, either in late July or early August:
Yes, it’s our old friend, the blank canvas! Let’s have a round of applause for the elder statesman, the man who will be better known than I in a dozen years hence.
There are some colors that I rarely use, and I thought that I’d give them a try. Among those colors are purple and orange. Both seem far too “specific” for me, in that they conjure up only a limited number of possible paths. In other words, they seem to control the canvas more than the brushwork or my own ideas.
But what the heck, yes? We started with some blobs of paint placed mostly in the upper-right corner; the idea was to sweep them downward and to the left.
As you can see, there are more colors there than just orange and purple. I’ve added some blues, some raw umber, cadmium yellow, and a bunch of white, just to help keep the colors from turning into one dark mass. I used latex gloves and wax paper in the initial smearing. Below is the result.
It’s hard to see in my (admittedly terrible) photography, but the paint is really thick on the canvas. I used a small piece of cardboard (comes in a box of canned cat-food) to further scrape at the paint to spread it more evenly across the canvas.
Using the cardboard and gloved hands, I was able to cover the entire canvas. So, what was the result of all this?
Here’s another photograph of the same, equally bad but in a too-washed-out sense, instead of too-dark-to see-clearly.
One thing you might notice…where the heck did all the purple and orange go? Wasn’t that the whole point of this? Where the heck did all this green come from?
There seems to be something happening in the upper left. Taking a brush, I used some of my orange and purple to…well, randomly do random things in the upper left.
It suggested a bubble, or the eye of an amphibian. Well, let’s see what a little highlighting in white will do.
That shows promise. Not sure what kind of promise, but it looks like something, instead of a waste of time (and paint). Here’s a close-up.
Let’s add some more highlighting. As long as we start “hearing” the proper direction, we should be okay with a bit of guided randomness. And some blue in the lower right. I was looking for some leftover green, to try and strengthen the carpet that was already there…and I couldn’t find any of that green left over. Where’d it go? Then I looked at my original blog photos…I didn’t use any green. The blue, cadmium yellow and orange made a strange kind of plant green.
I’ll have to try that again someday. But for now, I used some of the leftover blue instead. Not French ultramarine, but turquoise (I think). There’s a sweep of it in the lower right.
We let a couple of weeks pass, looking at the canvas every day, and asking it, “What are you? Are you an eye, or a drop of water, or something else entirely?” And the canvas didn’t say anything. It was silent, not out of arrogance or hubris, but because it genuinely didn’t know either.
Well, time to take some kind of plunge. Let’s move away from highlighting, and look into some shadows. Raw umber will do, though we should be careful…
Wow, that’s pretty good. Let’s see that in close-up.
Just before preparing this blog entry, I was fighting a bunch of flies (must be all the corpses in the basement) and I knocked the canvas off the easel. Not to worry, the paint was all dry, but when I put it back up on the easel, just for fun I put it sideways–
Oh…wow. That definitely looks promising. It’s much more evocative of something than the other orientation, which kept flipping between possibility and dead-end. This looks like it might work.
And that’s where we stand, as of the end of August (or close enough). We’ll see where (or if) it goes. As always, thanks for stopping by.
I actually started on another painting, because why finish anything when you can start something else? I took some pictures, but I’m not quite ready to post them yet.
It’s not a terribly interesting work, so far.
Well, honestly, none of them are interesting me all that much lately. That’s four recent works, as well as one that’s from last year…none of them are demanding anything, and I haven’t felt like doing anything with them. Maybe it’s the heat.
Anyway, thanks for stopping by.
Actually, I’m not sure if it’s a tree, it could be a dandelion or something else entirely. But it’s about the only thing I’m working on which is actually, you know, getting worked on.
I tried to add some detail to the sky-and-clouds picture, but ended up hating it a lot so I don’t know what will happen with that.
Anyway, since I hated that, I turned to the flower-tree painting. First thing I did was add some vague white highlights.
That was added, believe it or not, because I was working on those damned clouds and didn’t want to do more work cleaning paint off the brush. Sad, yes? Anyway, as you can see, it’s nothing much to look at, right? Next up, I decided to add some small solid-black (raw umber) marks throughout.
Ah…now that suddenly looks like it’s taking shape. There is definitely a “something” coming through now. I’m starting to like this…which I didn’t expect to do so, as the whole thing was started just as a way to avoid wasting paint. But I like those black marks.
Here are a few close-up views.
Good stuff. Reminds me of the later works of Joan Miro.
Anyway, that’s about it; the urge to paint has been very light for the past couple of weeks. It seems like stuff is happening, though, just slowly. So, onward, and thanks for popping by.
When last we saw the second canvas, it looked like this.
It’s still in that same state, because I’m still trying to figure out what direction it should take. It’s in a delicate state; a wrong stoke or color could stop it in its tracks.
I should note that in order to create the work above, lots of paint was applied, swirled, and scraped off. The scraped-off paint sat on the palette, just looking like a lot of wasted paint, so I thought I’d make use of it. Which meant yet another canvas.
So, large amounts of reddish stuff, and left-over blue from the sky picture, were swirled around another fresh canvas. No pic of the blank canvas, but here’s stage one.
That’s actually kind of interesting, but what you can’t see very clearly is that the paint is in very thick, giant wads. So we smoothed it out a bit.
This was then smoothed down even further with a sponge house-paint brush.
After letting that stand for a while, it started to assume a form. It kind of looked like a tree, so we went in and tried to detail it in that direction, mostly using white to highlight the light on the far right of the figure. There are a few dark spots applied as well, mostly to the lower left of the figure.
And a bit more detailing, using some darker colors, bringing in some of the shadows and trying to give the over shape a structure.
Then some more highlights, using more dark red.
And that’s where that one stands as of tonight.
Well, how about that. Three canvases and none of them close to being done. Oh well, it beats…um, I’m sure it beats something. Non-painting I guess.
Well, when we last met, we were working on clouds for a landscape. I’ve done a little bit of work since:
Hm. Well, I don’t know about you, but this…isn’t going anywhere for me. I recognize that it is still in an early, unformed stage, but I am used to having a work speak. Sometimes it doesn’t, and that’s when I know I am forcing the work, and more than likely, I will end up undoing whatever I do.
I haven’t done that yet. What you see above is still how the canvas looks as of today. But it seems pretty clear this isn’t going anywhere, and I don’t feel like driving on that road right now.
So…what now? How about starting something else? Without a plan? But with a bunch of paint scraped off the last couple of attempts?
Absurd? Well yeah. Stay tuned, my friends. And thank you for stopping by.
Uh, okay then. So–
As always, we start with the blank canvas.
Now, we add cadmium red, cadmium yellow, alizarin crimson, burnt sienna.
These colors are then smeared and blended, using a Popsicle stick and wax paper.
In contrast to the other painting, some things are suggested right away with this. So we add some white, to bring out the things that are hiding.
Here’s that in context.
Here’s the full context with some white work on the lower right.
Again, just following the suggestions of the painting. That is one crucial difference between the “planned” paintings (such as the landscape currently in limbo) and the “unplanned” ones (where the paint is just applied, and we’ll all figure it out later).
A closer look–
The full canvas again, with some more work both in detailing and a bit of highlighting in the area in the lower left.
A close-up of work on the right.
And some more.
A close-up of the white highlighting in the lower right. Looks like teeth, right? Well, who knows where that will go. Teeth today, claws tomorrow. Well, sometimes the prospects are limited….
A bit of refining on our original starting point–
And we have the full work as it is….
…except. There is an area that cries out for some white highlighting.
And there we have the work so far. Or so it seems.
While this work-in-progress definitly is assisting with its own creation, there’s still a question that hasn’t been answered. While we’re satisfied so far, the direction doesn’t seem to be leading anywhere. We can highlight and emphasize, but the final goal still eludes us both.
Unless–Well…how about that thing that’s been suggesting stuff, that perhaps another eye? Oh. Okay.
Hm. That…that seems promising. That seems to indicate a direction.
It also screams, “Don’t screw this up!” which is a good sign, but also a bad sign, that I’d better know what I’m doing before I do anything more to this canvas.
So I am putting this canvas on the wall, until it tells me I’m ready to know what I’m doing.
Yeah, that’s a bit scary.
When we last met, the sky was a simple blue color.
I then went in and painted cloud skeletons:
Then, with that as my guide, I mixed a small amount of raw umber with white to start building the clouds.
I stopped with one layer, because I wanted to step back and see how things were proceeding. I can’t really tell if I like it or not. We’ll see.
In the meantime, thanks for stopping by.
So, I haven’t done any painting in forever. There are a thousand excuses for this, and I could list each and every one of them, but that would waste everyone’s time, wouldn’t it? And I never do that.
Anyway, I decided to start painting, even though I don’t have any inspiration or anything. The muscles still have to be moved or they atrophy.
As opposed to most of the previous paintblogs, this one has a plan. It’s going to be a landscape. So:
We start as usual with a blank canvas. This time in “portrait” mode.
The colors chosen were titanium white, cerulean blue, and phthalo blue.
So, let’s start. Pretty much just white and cerulean right now. Sorry for the lack of light on this, but you know you shouldn’t expect quality!
Here’s what we ended up with–oh sorry, my thumb must have blocked the flash.
Let’s try that again, shall we!
Then I drank some beers, decided I didn’t like what I had so far–it seemed pretty automatic and not what I wanted. It was okay, but I’ve done it before, and I didn’t want to do it again. So I blue’d the whole thing again.
And that’s where we stand as of right now, which is June 6th. Where will this go? Or will it go anywhere? Stay tuned. Here’s a bunny! The bunny was in the back yard.
He (or she) ran away after I took this picture. You know how bunnies are, right?
Anyway, thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see what the future holds.