Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Yes! It gets weird about now. The painting is started, but nothing is really going yet. I become afraid and forget that I know how to paint, everything looks difficult. I go through this stage every time I paint and it sucks. I want each painting to be amazing and beautiful. I am terrified it will suck. I talk to my friends on the phone as I paint, they help me get through. The paint piles up, soon it starts to look like something and I wonder what I was freaking out about.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Details, large empty spaces

Details, large empty spaces
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 10:45:44 PM
Music for this Session:  Peter Gabriel, Gorillaz.

   Getting into smaller parts. Repainted the figure some. Abstracted more.


Now a vast, white emptiness lies before me. No its not Antarctica, its a 48x72 inch canvas. This is twice as big as anything I've painted and it's a little intimidating.

I have 4 or 5 collages already done at this proportion, I think I'll start the drawing tomorrow. I will pop back in a couple days.

Open Studios, closed doors

Open Studios, closed doors
Saturday, September 17, 2011 12:22:24 AM
Music for this session: I Heart Huckabee's sound track, Brian Eno's "Before and After Science" Battles "Mirrored"

 Open studios this weekend so my floor was packed with beautiful, interesting people who are interested in art. I kept my door closed. Painted figure till I got frustrated and took out frustration and energy by abstracting the bottom of figure. I cannot, cannot! Paint carefully for too long till that primate pokes his head out of my midbrain and says: scribble! I'll paint my way back into the figure tomorrow night.

Gears and Fears

Gears and Fears
Thursday, September 15, 2011 12:22:25 AM
Music for this nights session: Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy, Morrisey, Nick Cave's Murder Ballads, Bach Cello Suites by Mitslav Ratropovich
Christ! Its already tough, teaching till 6pm and then getting my ass to the studio. I am trying to stay till at least 12:30 Am or so. The problem is that I cannot sleep right after painting. My brain is still firing neurons like crazy and I lie in bed in a daze from 2Am till 3 or 4.
Fuckit. I am so lucky to be working and showing and selling. I vow to shut up.
    Tonight I worked on the gears and got pretty frustrated, abstracted out some of the gears, wiped most of the paint off, etc. I often paint realistically until some primal urge to fling shit overcomes me, then the paint starts becoming paint. Paint is oily and viscous and it yearns to be itself and drip and smear and cover and not be forced into tight little shapes.

Composition and color balance decent. I might change lots of this once I get the figure layed in.

12:20 AM. Time to drive home, feed the cat, hopefully fall asleep. Peace, dream your dreams, live your dream, dream your life.

Adjusting the Composition

Adjusting the Composition
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 12:18:26 AM
Music for this painting session: Mozart's Requiem, Sharon Jones and the Daptones Pandora station.

I decided to paint out the front of the plastic sheet as it was matching the angle of the smoke and creating too much diagonal thrust. There was also great smoke shapes under there I now get to paint.

Now I get to paint the shiny gears and the glass boxes of submerged body parts. Then comes the best part for me, painting the figure. I love drapery, and transparent drapery is particularly challenging and beautiful.
Palette used for the smoke: ivory black, burnt umber, titanium white, cobalt blue. Fire: Cad red, cad yellow, burnt sienna, alizarin crimson.

Later, its now 12:20, time to drive home.

365 days of painting

365 days of painting
Saturday, September 10, 2011 11:29:24 PM
Music for this session: Syd Barret Pandora station.
OK. I have two shows in the next 12 months. It will take me about 5-6 months to paint enough new work for each show.  This is the first piece in process. I am using images that are related to ideas of progress in history and philosophy.  The photo collage is how I usually begin. I either work in Photoshop or make a physical collage.

Then I project and trace the image without too much detail. I add details and work directly from the photos with pencil to finish the drawing.
I always work from back to front, leaving each under layer wet so I can work the top layers into the paint as I progress. 

I should probably switch to acrylic paint for health reasons! I, alas, cannot. I am addicted to the feel of oils and the richness of the colors. Always take precautions kids! I wear gloves, a smock, wash my hands constantly, have a fan blowing fresh air on me , and try to minimize my use of petroleum distillate thinner. Don’t lick your paint brush.
 I'll post tomorrow night my progress and thoughts on this piece.