Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Old Friends

Facebook's a strange thing.  I was recently sent a friend request from someone I painted maybe ten years ago.  She worked at Elmo at the time I painted her, but has since come up in the world since this picture is taken in the Pool Room of the Four Seasons Restaurant late last year.

Which isn't chopped liver.  Say hello to Julian for me.

The other odd thing is that one of her dining partners is also somebody I painted around the same time.  I remember her being impressed when I told her she had a face like the front of a Ferrari.  Which is not something I typically say to people, if for no other reason than most people have faces like old Buicks, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

It must have worked since she agreed to sit for me.   Both paintings are among my favorite early works.  Early works is the wrong phrase, since I've been painting my whole life.  Maybe early late works.  Early drip portraits might be even better.

Anyway, one is hanging in my house as we speak.  Every six months or a year, I take the other one out and replace the first one with the second.  If that makes sense.

This one's up ...

I may just unroll this one (which suffers from being poorly photographed) and switch it out.
It should be noted that I immediately clicked the yes button.

Pardon me?
On the friend request.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Would it kill you to take a moment ...

... as July flirts with August, to look over at the right hand column of the blog, the one with all the months, beginning with July 2006?

You think this shit is easy?  This much fucking blogging?  Where are the financial contributions from the readers?  After all these years of free shit of the highest quality imaginable?  Is this rant like Pete Wells' NYTimes zero-stars review of Guy Fieri's Times Square restaurant in which every sentence is in the form of a question?

Have you seen the review?

Did you laugh?

p.s.  You don't really have to contribute.  It's my gift to you.

More Boris

We close, gently, to the finish line, with this being the current state of Big Boris ...

My original vision was of a lighter, pinker, more Teutonic (one of his middle names is, after all, de Pfeffel) complexion, but I am so fond of the way his eyes are turning out in this version that I'm loathe to mess around with it too much.  Besides, he's upside down and all the blood is rushing to his head, rendering him a darker color.

Like blood sausage.
Nicely said.

It should be noted that all the people Rembrandt painted were pasty-faced northern Europeans, and they all looked as brown as nuts.  That's a slight exaggeration, but dude, the man loved his brown.

As regards Big Boris, additional work certainly remains.  The hair remains a work in progress.  The neck is wanting.  But those things will work themselves out.  The title remains, in my mind at least, a bit of a question.  I leave now to consult with the client.

Quick note:  Nutritional profile of three and a half ounces of typical blood sausage ...

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy1,586 kJ (379 kcal)
1 g
Sugars1 g
35 g
15 g
Trace metals
6.4 mg
680 mg

Good to know.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Death of a Salesman

Here's something ...

And here's the same thing, cleaned up ...

Do the tighten-up.  James Brown.
I can't wait for that movie.
Me neither.  Owwwww!

Anyway, what I didn't photo-document, because I'd done all the painting before I remembered to go upstairs and get the camera, was Boris' transition from a really dark blue face to a really whitish-pink one.  Now we've come back to a sort of a middle ground.

What was lost in all the backing and forthing was the man's features.  Lost as in obliterated.  So now the features are starting to emerge again.  This time to stay.  And the cleaning up meant removing the grid lines from the canvas.  Obviously.

He's a nice looking man, upside down.
Thank you.  Nice of you to say.
Attention must be paid.  Willie Loman's wife.
I can't wait for that play.
Too late.  Somebody already wrote it.

Speaking of writing, I am reading something with the word salt in the title.  It's a fictional memoir of Gertrude Stein's Vietnamese cook in Paris in the 30s, with flashbacks to Saigon and vicinity as frequently as the author deems prudent.  Quite lovely, really.  I'd certainly recommend it if you're in the right mood.

Update:  The Book of Salt: A Novel, by Monique Truong.

What I'd also recommend is turning to FX on Sunday nights and watching The Strain, which is unique among vampire sagas in that nobody in the viewing audience (or the cast for that matter) wants to go to bed with either the handsome vampire or his beautiful victims (see: The Vampire Diaries and/or the Twilight series), since neither of those things exist.  The vampire appears to be about ten feet tall and looks more like a lizard than anything else.  And the victims appear to be pretty much run-of-the-mill folks who wander by at the wrong time.

Plus there are these extremely disturbing, blood-sucking worms that, honestly, you do not want to get one on you.

Next time we speak of The Strain, remind me to broach what I call the The Following Paradox.  Although it might not actually be a paradox.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Revisiting Recently Deceased

It is with considerable annoyance that I report that the date of this painting should be 7-16-14, not 6-16-14.  Ironic, perhaps, that the man painted dates and I managed to fuck up the date of his Eulogy Map.  Also, curiously, Kawara apparently didn't want the exact date of his death published.  Some reports peg the date as near the middle of June -- roughly a month ago.

Wouldn't it be cool if I nailed it?

Also, just so we're clear, I just photoshopped at random the white type from one of his paintings into the middle a dark pool I had floating around.  There is no significance to that date beyond the arbitrariness of cut and paste, although it is worth noting that on the 16th of September, 1975, the Pirates beat the Cubs 22-0.  Which is a whack to the side of the head, no question.  Assuming you're a Cub.

Rennie Stennett went seven for seven, which has to be some kind of a record.

Map of Troy

But I did finish this ...

Which, to see in person, is to see Marxism die.  I'm not fucking kidding, either.

There's a Summer Place

I love that song.  Lovely to hum as you stand barefoot in the grass slopping some Buff Titan onto Big Boris.

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons?
The Lettermen, I think.  Maybe Andy Williams.

Regardless, I wanted to start spreading some color on the man's hair and, around the jaw and neck, do a bit of the tighten up with some gesso.

Surely that's the Four Seasons.
Dude!  James Brown.

Regardless, this is what it looks like ...

I'd do more, but I think it's fixing to rain.

The Buff Titan is a bit darker than I thought it would be, but that's okay.  It's a means to an end.  Just how even though his face was really dark when we last visited him, it's coming back to a normal color as we speak.  Likewise, just the way, when you're painting gray hair, the first thing you do is lay down a layer of black ...

Part of me says you should leave it like that.
The self-portrait?  
No.  Big Boris.
That's why you're the Greek Chorus and I'm the Painter.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On Kawara, Recently Deceased

An artist I enjoyed.  Herewith, this from la fromagerie ...

Kawara's big thing was painting the date.  Here's an example ...

He never painted random or selected dates.  He only painted the date of the day he was making the painting.  If you're with me there.  Were it me and I had come up with the idea, I'd immediately paint something that looked like SEPT.30,1953 because I'm an egomaniac and that's my birthday.

Not so much my boy On.  And if he couldn't get the painting done before midnight of that particular day he destroyed it.  Which I admire.

There is a school of thought that says this is total bullshit.  But if you stood in a room filled with his date paintings it didn't feel that way.

Sometimes he'd throw in a blue one or a red one, but mostly he was a black and white guy ...

And if you bought one of his paintings it came is a lovely little wooden box, sometimes lined with newspaper clippings of the day he painted it.

Here's the chant from The 13th Warrior.   Skip to the 2:45 mark if you can't stand the Antonio Banderas cheeseball stuff ...


Actually it's rice.  Growing in paddies.  In Japan.  Full story here.  What a long strange trip that must have been ...

June Bug vs. Hurricane

I refer, of course, to the Lucinda Williams song on Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.  Which surely must be one of the best albums of, well, ever.

I now call your attention to a Map of Troy painting in its early stages ...

The computer study for it is this ...

And someday it will look just like it.  But these days, since I have guests in my guestroom, I'm painting outside.  And there is something about a bright white canvas covered with wet paint that attracts bugs.

Which is annoying, since you lay down your coat of white and then watch the little motherfuckers just settle in.  Later when it's dry you smush their little dead bodies with your finger and they leave a little red streak.

Really fucking annoying.

Actually, it won't look like the study.  The black pools, or whatever they are, are vastly more compelling when rendered in paint.

So that's exciting.

Big Boris 2

When last we spoke we were here ...

 We're still there.  But now, armed with this ...

Buff Titanium.  As opposed to the big honking tube of Titanium White that every painter in the world owns.  The challenge with Big Boris is that he has white hair and he's painted on a white background.  I puzzled over this for a while, then, while shopping for some canvas stretchers, found the buff titanium tube.  Which is a kind of off-white.  Beige is a word, although it's such an ugly one I'm loathe to use it.

The point being that judicious applications of Titan Buff and Titanium White should get us moving in the right direction.

I believe my troubles are over.

Nice bedspread.
You think?
Sure.  Why not?
It's not my favorite.  I prefer a geometric.
Says a man who's never painted a straight line in his life.
Maybe it's overcompensation.

Update:  It's not called Buff Titanium.  It's called Titan Buff.  About which I have mixed feelings.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Best TYOMP Post Ever

Here's a customer attempting to cancel his ComCast service.  Unbelievable.

It's such a nightmare that I couldn't stop listening.  It's 8 minutes long.

It makes Time Warner seem like a kindly uncle with a drinking problem.  That said, Dish TV, my current provider, remains the shittiest product in the world.

Best line:  "Is this like a joke?  Are you punking us right now?"

Full article here.

Am amused at this paragraph ...

Comcast says it's very, very sorry. "We are very embarrassed by the way our employee spoke with Mr. Block and are contacting him to personally apologize," the company said in a statement.

I'm guessing the apology will come with ten minutes of hard sales pitch.

I also love that there's no confirmation number.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Also, did you happen to see that World Cup game?

The final?

Purists loathe the idea of penalty kicks.  Me?  I can understand that.  But you can't play forever, and by the 113th minute, or whenever it was that Mario Götze scored the winning goal in a manner so elegant as to make it the second best goal of the entire Cup, I was kind of hoping we'd go to the kicks.  I was watching it in a non-soccer bar (filled yesterday with pro-soccer people) and it would have been fun to hear everybody screaming over and over again.

Here's the winning goal in slow motion for your viewing pleasure ...

The other thing that happened to me yesterday was that, despite the rude saleswoman, I found a tube of just the right paint to make Boris Johnson's hair happen.

Le Tour ist finis

Zut alors.

First Chris Froome falls down one time more than he gets up.  Now, today, Alberto Contador, who inherited the favorite's spot from Froome, cracked the frame on his bike going down a hill, then cracked his tibia in the resulting crash.  Points to Contador, who's not my favorite guy, for riding another twenty minutes with a broken leg before abandoning the Tour.

It should be noted that Contador would be the first guy to have the Tour title stripped from him for doping, do his time (two years), and then come back and win the Tour again.  Which, before today, I thought he was going to do because I didn't think Vincenzo Nibali, henceforth referred to as Vinnie Nibs, had it in him to hold him off in the Alps.

But all that is over and the remaining eleven days or so should be a cakewalk for Mr. Nibs.

Which is okay.  The tour is about way more than the yellow jersey.  So don't turn away for even a minute.  There's Fabian (I am Spartacus) Cancellara in the time trial.  Marcel Kittles in the sprints.  Peter Sagan, the coolest bicycle racer on the planet, doing more or less everything.  Can Tejay van Garderen scratch and claw his way back into the top five?  Third maybe?  The competition for the bottom of the podium is way more interesting than the competition for the top.  We probably even
have time for one more long breakaway by Jens Voigt or Tommy Voeckler.

You know you've watched too many Tours when you have a favorite podium girl.