Monday, April 25, 2011

A Pair of Little Asses


After some angsting about how to treat the chalk grounds I've decided to leave them in the rough. I tried a layer of zinc white and was horrified by the cutsie kiddie bedroom look they acquired! Had a confirmatory chat with the ever wise Niki and rubbed it off! Damn, but it was horrid. I'm enjoying the contrast of the refined oil painting against the rough and sketchy preliminary layer.

Phew, catastrophe averted.

Also managed, today, to complete the last of a triptych of larger pieces for the measure series. After months of umming and erring I had a break through by simply repainting the ground to some colours that actually make me happy. The two little swallows came quite quickly after that. I have decided to call it minuet due to the courtly dance in which the little birds are engaged.

Now I just need to find a wall somewhere to show this ever increasing collection of works!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The scruffy first layer

So many artists do that 'painting a day' blog thing and I thought I might try something similar. Given that I work in layers with oils, a painting a day doesn't really work for me, so I thought a layer each time the last dries - 2-3 days. So I sketched up the 9 little darlings on Friday afternoon, worked on some larger pieces on Saturday as well as the first black layers where needed and then did some fast underpainting on Sunday afternoon.  I might see if I can come up with a task to document on 'wet' days.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pig Tales

After several months of video focus I'm finding my way back into the paint again. I've had a series of small panels (20cm x 20cm) prepared with chalk gesso sitting waiting for me for some time and I finally realised that rather than going BIG with the current series I wanted to go even smaller. I spent the afternoon drawing up nine close-up mini portraits of the salt and pepper shakers that feature in my measure for measure series. And I'm feeling quite happy with the outcome. I particularly love this little piggy, he's such a ham (I'm sorry).

I attended a Gregory Crewdson lecture on Tuesday and he asserted that all artists have a core story that they are trying to convey. I left wondering about mine. Do I really have a core story? Maybe. I do seem to be obsessed with "stuff"; collecting objects, painting them, cherishing them, studying them. And if I think back through my childhood journey there are a few reasons why I cherish stuff. Dad was in the army and we moved a lot. Six schools by grade three in three different states. It was a lot. And we didn't get to keep much from one place to another. And stuff went missing. There's certainly a deep sense for me in finding cherished objects for which I find playful narratives that somehow replicate childhood fantasy and play. I think that this might be part of my motivation, the story in my work.