Saturday, November 24, 2012

I'm Completely Screwed

Which, oddly enough, sounds like one of the captions of my paintings.  Look at this super-old Bernanke portrait:


Ha.  Go figure.  Anyway, consider this ...


This is the top 50% of Mrs. Whitney.  The top half, if you will.

So I've been sitting in the studio, staring at this half, plus the other half, thinking that I'm in love with what the blue ended up doing and where the hell am I gonna put my caption.  Listening to All Things Must Pass, if you have to know.

You see, part of the point of doing things the way I do them is that you don't actually know what the blue is going to do.

Quick note to the Jackson Pollock apologists of the world:  You hear a lot of scholarly commentary which notes, in the wise, self-satisfied way pundits have of commenting on something they don't know anything about, that Pollock knew exactly where his paint was going.  This always gives me a pain in the ass because I can promise you it's not true.  He was just flinging the paint.  There was certainly a sort of approximate expectation.  But that was it.  The rest of it was the abyss.  Cue the Schlitz.

I know this how?  Well, for starters, I've probably dripped more paint onto a flat canvas than almost anybody on the face of the earth (It's a pretty small sample, granted.  I mean, who does stuff like this anyway?).  And I have excellent hand/eye coordination, so I figure I'm about as good at it as anybody.  And finally, for the most part, I'm painting while NOT intoxicated.  Pollock was hammered half the time.

So about midnight I mixed some medium blue paint with a bunch of water and just sort of spilled it over the edge of my little white mixing bowl ...


... onto the surface of the painting.  I kept adding water as I ran out, making each pass lighter than the one before it.  Then, because it was gonna take an hour or so to dry, I went to bed.

You know the painting is going well, or at least interestingly, when you go to bed, flap around for a hour, then get up and read until you're so tired you gotta go to sleep.

And the interesting thing about painting on newsprint, as opposed to primed canvas, is that sinking-in, watercolor effect.  See upper left.

All of which brings me to the realization that I really like the blue and I'm not sure I want to paint a speech balloon over top of it.  At the same time, I really like the overall piece -- it's a much closer realization of the original idea I had about my Neo-Lichtenstein series.  Much more so than Nightly Prayers.  And if I don't put in the balloon, it's not gonna be very Neo-Lichtensteinian.  Is it?

So I'm Completely Screwed.

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