Monday, November 19, 2012

Five by Five

What does that even mean?  Five by five?  Something to do with signal to noise ratio comes up on the web.

That's military jargon, though I've read it in an old CB operations guide. There are two scales to measure how well you are hearing someone on the radio: Strength and clarity of transmision. Since its a five-point scale, a signal of 'five by five' would be the optimum values. Something worse would be 'two by two' for instance.

I remember the term from the pilot in Aliens when they were dropping out of space to first land on the planet.  Wearing teardrop aviator shades.  Very butch.  "Five by five," she says, suggesting that things were going well.  Fifteen minutes later she gets sawn in half by an alien, so I guess "going well" is a relative term.

But none of that is meaningful here.  Five by five is the size of the canvas I'm stretching for my "First Bear..." painting.  You can see it right there, leaning against the wall.

The feel of it is wonderful.  I've been stuck with 4'x5' canvases for so long.  The extra five square feet feel great.  I can't wait to slap some newspaper on it.

Six by five is even better, but the Bear painting needs to be square.  It will, after all, be a reinterpretation of this ...

Which for reasons known only to me, and now forgotten, has been flipped across its vertical axis.

All that said, I'm awfully fond of this painting.  Which isn't square.

Shown here flipped.

I like it better the regular way.  Six by five.  If you click on it and try to find the 12-inch grid, you can surely do so.

Hint:  the best place to find it is in the lower left corner of the un-flipped version.  Just below her lip, you can see the intersection of two lines.  The vertical line goes up through her mouth, up her flume, to the bottom of the tip of her nose.

And just while we're screwing around, look at this picture of a studio I used to have in Brooklyn.  Wow.

There's Big Michelle on the wall, unstretched.  Over on the right, on the easel, was a commission, half done.  Self portrait in the middle, top.  Annotated Murdoch leaning against the wall.  Forgiving Nixon is the small, framed one above the lamp.

Wow.  How much fun is that?

Now I'm feeling wistful.  Bob Dylan, when asked about Mr. Tamborine Man (maybe) three or four decades later, said something like "I could never write that song now."   Oddly enough, I'm listening (because I'm as old as the hills) to the Byrds singing My Back Pages, which is the Dylan song that includes "I was so much older then; I'm younger than that now."

You're going with a semicolon there?
Yeah.  It seemed the right thing to do.
Hey -- it's your blog.


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