Friday, May 25, 2007

Seven more days/the briefest of theological notes

I apologize for my recent dearth of postings. I spent several days in New York lubricating the gears for my return to the world's capital.

But that's just FYI. The real question is this: Did you see Ron Wood at what I think was BobFest sing a song called "Seven More Days"? It was one of the highlights, and I bring it up for a two reasons.

First, I'm told that today is Bob Dylan's birthday. That this moves me on a number of levels suggests either I'm too sensitive or else I'm getting old. You do the math.

Second, this time next week I will have completed my not-yet-started painting of Jeb Stuart. I will employ what is now widely referred to as the "obscured box" technique. And, sorry to say, I will chronicle the process with only one picture per day on this blog. The whole Bobby Lee thing was exhausting. Perhaps with reason, but nonetheless exhausting.

So I now have seven more days.

Or is it six? I'm of two minds. Either way, it's a conundrum that directly relates to one of the fundamental building blocks of Christianity, which goes, depending on who you read, roughly: "On the third day He rose again."

One can glean from a close reading of the Gospels that Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Doesn't that make the "third day" a Monday, not the commonly accepted [Easter] Sunday? Or would that be "three days later" rather than "on the third day"? Maybe it's a Gregorian vs. non-Gregorian thing? Or perhaps simply grammatical? The English language is full of techniques that involve silent letters (see: my boy Tent, who spells it with an r) and implied clauses. I think it's the implied clause that warrents consideration here.

Thus: "On the third day [after He was crucified] He rose again."

Which is Monday. With Easter barely passed, I wonder if I should bring this up now or wait until next year.

I am also considering the following, although it might just be a bad idea: Portraits painted on a sea of beer cans. More than portraits ... portraits of cheerleaders! High school cheerleaders! Perhaps the varsity squad from my alma mater. I can remember at least three: Amy, Keri and Sally. No, four: add Pam--I went to college with her. I'm sure, given time to think, I could come up with more. Kathy--that's five. Each one eating a banana.

I just threw a bunch of beer cans away, but I bet it wouldn't take long to amass enough empty beer cans to cover the surface of a 4'x5' piece of fiberboard or masonite, then pour paint over the top to both permenantly affix the cans to the subsurface and, at the same time, create a portrait. I wonder if Tom Wolfe capitalizes masonite. He does Styrofoam.

It would be fun to do a series of them (although I bet the lure of a full series might fade after doing the first one). Each would be called some version of: "Cheerleader With Banana on Beer Cans." Cheerleaders are certainly potent, somewhat conflicted sexual icons. Having them eat a banana is an easily-interpreted further-sexualization of the image. And doing it on beer cans just makes me giggle.

Always the question resolves into pixels, or at least a painter's version of a pixel. Given that we are using an extremely crude method of rendering an image (paint drizzled over beer cans), what's the mathematical (geometric?) relationship between the size of a recognizable detail (the so-called pixel) and the total surface area of the painting?

If you look at a shitty picture on the web, the kind that show up--but will not enlarge when you double-click them--on blogs like mine, the dots per square inch number is often about 300. A beer can, laid on its side, measures just less than five inches by three inches. Quick math: a one foot square is just less than 150 square inches. So this gives you ten beer cans per foot. Twenty square feet in a 4'x5' "canvas." 200 cans per image. I can't do any more math, but that's a lot of beer. Currently I'm buying 12-packs of Pabst Blue Ribbon for $5.99. That's just over $100 bucks for the beer cans alone.

Plus, what do you do with that much beer outside of football season?

Still, it's a fun idea. I mean, you have to push the envelope, even if getting drunk is the unfortunate byproduct.

I'm reminded of the statue of John F. Kennedy in the main hall of the Kennedy Center in Washington. Initially sculpted very roughly in clay, then rendered on a large scale in bronze, its rough-hewn details caused quite a stir in the day. Now it's considered a masterpiece.


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