Wednesday, June 19, 2013

One Hundred Paintings Part XVI

Hello, hello. Just a quick-lunch-break-update today (has a nice ring doesn't it?) I feel like I've been running for home plate on this fifty painting milestone for some time now. Every time I paint three more paintings I'm still not quite there yet. If this was a silly, slapstick comedy... every time the camera would pan back to me I'd be further and further away from my target (or in my lost baseball metaphor--home plate). Like that endless running scene in Monty Python's Holy Grail: Seen HERE. I don't know why, but I just had to throw that in. 

"The Clearing"

I don't have too much to say about this week's paintings. Or I should say, I have too much to say about this week's paintings. So I'm just not going to, because I don't really feel like it. I'm feeling very nonchalant today. That's really what people mean when they say "I don't know" anyway isn't it? 

Highly Revered Art Critic & Collector: "Alex, what does this painting mean?"
Me: "mmmidunnoo"

"Casual Pollination"

A large part of this week's paintings were trying to come up with some creatures that were my own design, and not just strictly bears, or dogs, or something. I've been having some fun with it. I like this weird little bee-dude. Again, some of the information was lost in the painting because of the large white areas. I should probably invest in a good camera one of these days.

"Tall Tales"

This was actually a last minute painting. I really wanted to get a third done by today, so I threw this one together. I like the idea, it probably could have been executed better. For some reason I've always liked compositions that show people's lower halves. There's sometimes quite a story from the waist down... that sounds bad, but you know what I mean. I once had a friend who said she used to judge people by the shoes they wore, solely (haha, I'm so funny). At the time I was like "Well that's kind of shallow"... but actually shoes-- or lack thereof--can say a lot about a person.

Anyway, I'm out. Toodeloo.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

One Hundred Paintings Part XV

Salutations! I'm moving ahead with three new paintings this week. I've been trying to get back into the habit of creating a minimum of three paintings a week but the free time is scarce. Though I will say this, I think I'm getting faster at painting. Painstaking details like wood grain used to take me a lot longer than they do now. Sometimes I'm even finishing two paintings in a day and they are executed more precisely and with better craft than they were in the beginning of the project. I'm almost at the half-way point now and the project is proving successful in all the ways I hoped it would. I think my skills and concepts are strengthening. You can really see the evolution of that throughout the series, which is why I think it will make such an interesting piece when it's displayed together in the same room--and it's gonna need to be a big room. Here's some paintings--as with all my paintings, light areas of color do not scan well. All three of this week's paintings involved a significant amount of white space. You'll just have to take my word that they look at least a little better in real life.


I really enjoyed the character I came up with for the thirty-sixth painting. This sort of faceless, cloaked deer, who is pensive and mysterious. I wanted to re-visit him again (and will surely re-visit him more in the future). In this painting he is being transformed from dark to light by these butterflies (who are a symbol of metamorphosis and change). In fact, this painting, and the last one from this week have similar concepts. I've been thinking a lot about change lately.

"The Guests Have Arrived"

I hadn't done a funny painting in a while--well funny to me anyway. I really get a laugh out of the rabid raccoon eating birthday cake (and it's really come in handy for birthday cards) and wanted to make something in the same vain. This whale is about to get a good birthday present. Mmm... sea-sailor... my favorite. 

"Collectors Calling"

I had a dream recently about a rabbit and a dog. That has nothing to do with this painting but it made me realize for someone who likes dogs as much as I do, I don't put them in my paintings very often. I think this is only the second dog in the series. I wasn't exactly sure where I was going with this painting. I knew I wanted to have these menacing birds looking through the windows, and all these locks on the door. I guess sometimes people think they are keeping themselves safe but the quality of life is a lot less if you're not willing to walk outside of your comfort zone. The black vines were a last minute addition. The point was that you can't keep bad things out forever, and that problems need to faced or they will find you. In the back of my mind this painting also reminded me of how I feel every month when student loan payments roll around, heh. I was originally tossing around the title "Debt Collectors" but it was really more than that-- more universal, in the end.

I've already got some ideas cooking for next week's paintings. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

One Hundred Paintings Part XIV

The life de-weeding took a few months I guess. I can't believe February was my last update, yikes. It seems like it took forever for winter to end, and it's still ending... and it's still ending... and it's still... but somehow it's June and I don't know how that happened. I just swam in a lake last weekend, but I don't feel ready to put away my galoshes just yet. I feel like winter was a bad boyfriend that I kept trying to break up with and winter was all like "But baby please, just give me one more chance". And I was all like... "nah". Every now and then I still get schmaltzy late night texts saying "I miss how I used to laugh when I watched you dig your car out of a quickly ever-descending snowbank, in 5° weather". Good riddance--that's what I say. Now, summer has arrived just in time for me to start complaining about how hot it is and how it makes me want to scratch my own skin off. Cheers.

Needless to say, winter depressed the crap out of me and somewhere during that time I was in and out of the doctors a lot for a variety of reasons and I got no artwork done aside from my 8-5 job. So it seems like my blog has gained a few inches of dust, but I've been creatively active in other ways, such as music, fine art painting, puppeteering, and the like. I've been feeling lately, like I really want to build something with my hands, like a bookcase or something but lumber is expensive so it's back to the "One Hundred Paintings Project". Segue, segue... etc, ect. 

"Air Raid Shelter"

I can't exactly remember where I got this idea because I drew the thumbnail back in the fall and the painting sometime back in March, but I suspect it was because I was listening to a song by Andrew Bird called "Near Death Experience". There were a few lines that really resonated with me, but these ones especially hit close to home:

"You used to be like toffee,
Between the kitten's teeth
You used to build arid (air raid) shelters
Out of sticks and leaves
And spend the whole day underneath

You used to be like copper
Pliable but strong,
You used to smile and nod,
Say "You're right" be polite
When you know that everybody's wrong"

Now I'm pretty sure what he really says "air raid shelters" because "arid shelters" doesn't make any sense to me (why would a fort of sicks be dry and hot?). Not to mention the title of the song is "Near Death Experience" Alas, the internet says it's "arid shelters", either way, "air raid" is the way I heard it, and it struck a cord because I used to build forts out of sticks and leaves all the time when I was kid. Feeling like it was some sort of impenetrable fort where nothing could get at me. I feel like those two verses really embody what it was like for me to be a child, to have all this knowledge and then not be able to articulate it, or worse, knowing that no one would take me seriously. So I wanted to illustrate this kind of lonely, but peaceful picture. I purposely chose not to have a subject in this one. I used a lot of pastels to really get the feeling of childhood. 

"Recurring Dreams"

The title of this one is self-explaining. I get a lot of recurring themes in my nightmares and dreams. Even the scary ones are starting to bore me.


This one was actually inspired by the title before the painting existed. I do that sometimes, I like to work around a phrase or word, instead of the painting or song coming first. Whenever I hear the word "scrawlings" This is exactly what I imagine. Beetles that have tipped over a well of ink and scratched their musings onto paper. Words evoke funny images sometimes. You can only imagine what I see when someone says "chicken scratch". Here's a hint... it's got little to do with chickens scratching.

That about does it for now. I've got other paintings in progress. Many ideas mulling up there. I'll try not to take 4 months to put them on paper.