Thursday, February 28, 2013

Assignment 03: Action

For this assignment, we will not have "subject matter" but instead will start by making a set of intuitive actions with paint on the surface. These marks become the subject matter of the work and will be built upon in subsequent passes. The idea is to get the painting to a level where we think it looks good, then push a little more until it looks awful, and then stop the end of the session. We are then supposed to take a break and then come back to it so that we come to it as a viewer and not as a painter. Then we start the next session . . . for a total of eight (ish) sessions.
With this in mind, I decided to do a little research into the work of Robert Motherwell, one of the leading and articulate abstract expressionist. He uses the surrealist method of automatic drawing, which is the act of using an intuitive and free-association technique to build an image (letting the brush go and do what it wants to) and builds a painting from that. I found this image interesting.
I'm intrigued by these images because these gestures are meant to be read as gestures, but also evoke a certain amount of representation (solar flares in particular) and also a light, airy state of being. I don't think my assignment will be as light and airy . . . but perhaps it would be a good spin on the project? I'd also like to explore the use of cobalt and cool blue in the painting.
I've decided to go with a cardboard support again and acrylic latex house paint. Little did the person in my building who purchased the new patio table and chair set realize that their garbage would be recycled into my assignment lol. I feel like the joke might be on me though as it looks like my cardboard panels are warping a bit. (I applied a PVA (lePage) glue and water mixture to seal up the "raw" side of the cardboard. I'm hoping some gesso on the back will counteract the warpitude!)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Assignment 02 results

Stitched, 40" by 60", acrylic latex paint on cardboard and packing tape, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Kline cliche

To avoid my assignment becoming a cliche on Franz Kline, I decided to use a vibrant yellow and a cool grey. Also, I added some stitch lines to evoke the idea (and fact) that these gestures are stitched together. The brush strokes aren't showing up here (crap camera) but the cardboard is interrupting the surface of the image just enough to make you unsure of what is happening.
It's funny to note how much a slight adjustment to the angle of a stroke can put the whole thing off balance!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Assignment 02

This second assignment is called Repetition and Ritual. We were asked to choose a photograph that interests us and then make 100 drawings (studies) from it. 10 drawings of 5 minutes duration, 10 drawings of 3 mins, 20 drawings of 2 mins, 20 drawings of 1 minute, 20 drawings of 30 seconds, and then 20 drawings of 15 seconds. From the last two sets of drawings, we are making a painting. Here are some of the results:

I figured that I would make a painting about the repeated series of gestures in these studies, erase it, then go over it again with the same gestures. Let's see what happens . . . I might have to work the negative space as gestures too . . . otherwise, it might be boring . . . or too much like a cliche of Kline or DeKooning.

We talked about Philip Guston's work today with regards to repetition. He reuses icons in his works that act as tools for him to create a painting. We talked about types of marks as tools as well. I'm a little baffled about Guston's work: I don't get why you'd purposely paint so awkwardly. I guess he was battling with the snobbery of AB EX and the "lie" of abstract painting, and I'm thinking he was after evoking an emotion, a narrative, an engagement with the viewer that these previous styles of painting didn't hold for him. 

I'll have to do a few more hits on my painting before I know what's really going on here lol.