Sunday, April 19, 2009

everybody dance! (for Yoko & Sean)

(please click for larger view)

This was a piece my good friend Sean asked me to do for his fiance Yoko, which came as a huge compliment that he would want to give her a painting of mine as a gift. They are both very near and dear to my heart, so I really wanted to make sure I did something special for them, and very much about them.

The piece is called "Look at What Your Love Does". The records they are spinning are balls of yarn, coiling in an infinity loop on the turntables, intertwining throughout the kitty kat dance party of friends and loved ones. The implications, I hope, become apparent the more that people, I also hope, will find enjoyable things to look at.

I thought i would post my first real "process" blog if anyone was interested (Joe Sorren's blog has the most inspiring and evolving one). I should like to remark also that there is an iridescent gold under-painting, as Sean and Yoko both work with metals, and it is a quality that only they will get to enjoy in person as it hangs in their home someday. I wish them both lots of luck and love in their bright future, and thank them so much for their union that has brought so many good friends together so many times
(if you like, most of these can be clicked on for much larger versions than blogger allows)

here is my 'thumbnail', and it is about 2 inches wide

a 'color comp' i did quickly in the computer. the folks at the Autumn Society were nice enough to help critique me so long ago (here)

the sketch! often the most important part for me, if i take the time it takes to work everything important out in pencils, then i can enjoy the organic experimentation that happens as i get lost in a painting without messing up TOO bad. I really wanted to make sure each cat was special, here in dance, and later in coloring and painting. being a southpaw means that sometimes i have the filthiest smears, not to mention the difficulties erasing (and i erase more than i pencil, if that's possible) on a 3 foot piece of coated wood was challenging

inks! Sharpie and smeary Microns. As careful as i like to ink, i know it is more for a guide to paint over as i will always ink over some parts of the piece to regain the drawing. my goal is to someday be able to represent my drawings in the world of paint, and not rely so much on line and drawing, but i am probably decades away from that goal. Thank heavens life is a long work in progress. Also, inking is where i stiffen up and loose all fluidity that a once decent drawing had; another area i hope to someday improve upon



orange trees i was very unhappy with

pink trees i was even more unhappy with. this was a night i felt i had to walk away in defeat from the drafting table with hopes of salvaging the piece if i just kept at it with fresher morning eyes.


red grass over gold grass.

red grass and more fleshed out trees. i was going for a 'pink autumn' of sorts with purple trees, but the scrapes and branches helped a little with an area i really had problems with
i just love the way the light from my blinds hit this one, like real light might react in real woods. i wish i could paint this well
fleshing out the cats! i went for more pink and allowed the wisps of acrylic to cover the inked outlines so they had more of a fluffy feel

here is a shot of my work area in my bedroom, and the table was a very encouraging and important gift from my family so very long ago. I don't normally work so large (this was a special occasion and a very ambitious painting for me personally) and it was very funny to me how i would have to roll around left to right or push the painting around like a typewriter
afterwards i put alizarin crimson for the yarn, and carved and scraped it so the records' grooves popped more with thicker texture, as well as give the yarn that bumpy twisting quality (i think the line work is too thick, but i hope some people will enjoy following the very workable path like a dizzying roller coaster). i hope you've enjoyed this post and thank you for staying with it this far!

i will talk to you all soon with good news to report, but for now, i have to get ready for my big move from Philadelphia to NYC!!! yikes!
take care,
your friend,