Monday, December 31, 2007

Paintings are like dogs...

Paintings are a lot like dogs in that they can smell fear. And when they smell it, they typically engage in aggressive behavior.

All of which as preamble to this: it has come to the point where I am afraid of my painting of Lloyd Blankfein. If I get in the same room with it, my eyes well up, my breath starts coming in short, yelpy gasps. Some would describe this as sobbing. Hysterical sobbing.

Which, really, is a lot for a grown man.

Cesar always says that the way to master a dog is to establish yourself as the pack leader. Hard to offer compelling leadership when you are sobbing.

All of which as preamble to this: I just can't get his mouth right. And now, in my increasingly desperate efforts to do so, I find that I am screwing up the good parts. The whole thing is such a disaster. I'd show you a picture but I can't stand the humiliation.

What if I'm losing my nerve? For a gestural painter, nerve is everything. The Godhead--whatever that means.

There is a part of me that says the problem is not actually his mouth but, rather, his upper lip. There is a glimmer of hope inside me that says perhaps if I make the lip puffier, rounder, more like the way Louis Armstrong's lips used to puff out as he clapped himself to the end of his trumpet and began to blow -- only less so, obviously; I mean, the man's a banker, not a trumpet player -- that there may be some light at the end of the tunnel.

Did you watch "The Sound of Music" last night? I switched to it during the commercial breaks of the Herm Bowl (and/or when the Jets were just too horrible to watch). It occurred to me that the difference between "The Sound of Music" and that Guns n Roses cover band I saw last month was, at least on one level, that I knew all the songs. I've always been drawn to Julie Andrews. Probably more so as Mary Poppins, but she was also extremely hot--one man's opinion--as Sister Maria. Remind me to tell you about the time I had some tea with her. Her upper lip, unlike Mr. Blankfein's, was as straight as an arrow. Had a flume like a six-lane freeway. I bet she did a lot of coke in her day.

Anyway, the hope is that if we can somehow figure out that whole lip business then the rest of the thing will fall into place.

Truth in blogging: This strikes me as wildly optimistic. Even now, that gulping is welling up in my throat. I can't see very well through this veil of tears. Snot is running down my nose.

Do you know what gestural painters turn into when they lose their nerve?

Aqualung.

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