Sunday, August 28, 2011

My favourite critic

Ike the Critic
"mmeeeoooowww ooooow." That means I have to work on my line weights a little more.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Drawing with thread

Experimental drawings using thread and black oil paint on standard paper. I love the way the thread forced me to loop around the forms to create some interesting shapes. These are studies for some larger paintings that I'm working on at the moment.

I like how these drawings are an extension of the continuous contour line that I love so much! Thread and sewing haven't really played an important role in my life . . . aside from sewing buttons and pant cuffs. But the long continuous loops remind me of playing in my sandbox as a tiny boy; making roads for my die-cast cars (Hot Wheels oh yeah!). I recall how the roads would end up looking like arteries and go over top of one another. A drawing in sand? hmm . . . maybe i'll just have to go to the beach! lol

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I've finally taken the plunge and started to stretch my own canvas. I should have done this sooner cuz cost-wise, I can stretch my art funds by almost twice as much. Also, it's incredibly empowering to take apart old canvases that you want to reuse instead of having to paint over them. It's kind of exciting actually! I get excited about funny things, don't I? :)

Fyi: staple guns are fun!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Flower painting pains

I would really like to see painters take some creative risks when it comes to painting flowers. They are such a lovely subject in that they are delicate, wildly colourful, structural, and have all sorts of symbolic meaning and thematic potential (etc etc), but it only seems like there are two approaches. 1. Georgia O'Keefe (only more reserved so there is no icky questions as to whether or not they reference to sexual organs) and 2. Dutch still life style (only more overworked).
Georgia O'Keefe, Poppies

Rachel Ruysch, Still Life with Flowers

Here's some thoughts: what if flowers were symbols of death and not springly life-yness? (Dead flowers are 1000 times more expressive than live ones!) Flower petals as blades/knives/something harmful? What if the molecular pattern of plants was referenced? What if the roots and vine/shoot system were the main focus instead of the bloom?
I guess most genres of painting suffer from their type-casts, but that doesn't excuse anything. Look at what Chuck Close did for portraits. All art making means living with risk and uncertainty and it seems odd to me that a subject like flowers that draws so many people hasn't been more fully explored. I can understand emulating a Master's technique to learn about painting but that shouldn't be the end product . . . it would be like copying a poem verbatim. I suppose there are also commercial concerns but seriously . . . even Jeff Koons pushes himself a little (now I've done it).
I don't mean to dis flower painters cuz we're all in this together, but much like BC coast landscape painters, it isn't enough to copy modes that have been reused, reissued, and worn out to death. The key is to add some life, put your own, personal spin on things. Who knows, maybe I'll be walking down Fort Street next week and have to eat my hat!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A couple of new works

Container Twisting, 24" by 30", Latex paint on canvas, 2011

Contained with Hands Behind Back, 22" by 28", Latex paint on canvas, 2011
These paintings make reference to Franz Kline's work, but they represent the figure, more specifically, the boundaries of the body in space. Torso and air.

Still flat because the illusion of a body in 3-D is evoked with thick paint instead of light and shadow. Mass is presented as fluid and moving. Weight is illustrated by repeated strokes in an area. Less strokes = lighter.

Gravity is present. A reminder of the easel.

Our bodies are containers. We are vessels of blood, bones, fluids, etc., that exist in a less dense material; gas form of oxygen etc. But air contains us . . . and also permeates through our breathing . . . oxygen elements absorbed in our lungs throughout our bodies.

I am using Kline's methods superficially because I enjoy the harsh division of positive and negative (which my lead to another thought about continuity of space).

I like energetic strokes. Gesture and movement engage a viewer. The act of making marks recalls the hand of the artist.

Big brushes fill up the canvas quickly and there is no time for "precious" strokes.

Cheap house paint reflects the notion of the vernacular: the everyday. (Painting using coffee?)

Monday, August 1, 2011