Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The fun part about painting

The fun part about painting is that, even though I've done it most of my life, I am constantly reminded that I don't have a fucking clue what the hell is going on. For some, this would be troubling. I mean, this is the financial engine that feeds, houses and clothes me, provides fuel for my expensive German sports car, allows for the occasional trip to a restaurant, etc. You'd think I'd have a handle on it.

Me? Naaah. It's like performing on American Idol. You just have to go out and have fun.

That said, the above iteration of Self Portrait II (That Boy Could Sure Eat Some Beets) gets back to that idea of professional incompetence. Not inasmuch as the damned thing doesn't really look like me--it's way too early to expect that. But rather, that after some considerable effort spent attempting to render some convincing version of what is now my mostly white hair...

onto the mostly white paper, I realized that the only way to get it right was to paint the white on top of some black. Thus the top image. I guess my point is, you'd have thought I'd have known going in that that was how to do it. Still, look how Jeffersonian I look!

I also like that the image is both vertiginous and informative. Vertiginous because it feels like you're plummeting into the image. The picture within the picture, if you will. Which, I guess, makes it Shakespearean. Less metaphorically, it also gives you, dear reader, a sense of what my office looks like. The state of my desk, if you will. You can see one of the photos I'm working from on the left. Some cans of paint scattered around. Some crumpled up paper towels. A few sticks.

And the dropcloth! Man, if that bad boy could talk...

You know, I never really look at the dropcloths. Is that the plural? Dropclothes? And why aren't clothes spelt cloze? I've used two main dropcloze for the last five years or so and I wonder if, upon closer inspection, some sort of forensic analysis could be made of them. Like This is where I dropped the whole can of black paint during The Ecstasy of St. Theresa or This is the spot where I threw the stick down because I couldn't get The Girl with the Pearl Earring's mouth right or Hey, that's not paint; that's blood.

You know what blood looks like on a black and white video? Shadows.



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