Saturday, January 2, 2010


A new year's resolution? Not really. The word resolution means the act or process of determining or solving. This new year, I have an artistic situation that I need to bring resolution to.

In 2002, when I first started creating the Little Boxes, I was still painting in a completely different style. Those paintings were, for the most part, painted in the style of the old stuff posted on this blog last year, a sort of stylized abstraction. But I was busy revisited realism, and ultimately falling back in love with representational painting (I painted representationally before the abstract series, back in college.) So without really understand why, I was sort of ignoring my abstract notions.

But they didn't go away. I still sketch the same type of abstract people who populated my earlier work. I draw them on notes and scraps of paper. I doodle them on the corners of meeting agendas. I see them lurking around corners. They watch me when they think that I'm not looking. They won't leave me alone, and they know I'm not painting them. They want to know why...and I don't have an answer.

Well, I didn't. This last week of painting has given me a lot of time to think about my process. During that time I've arrived at an interesting conclusion: I refuse to paint in one style. To work in a definitive manner - to be only a realist or an abstract impressionist or a po-mo post pop whatever - is to create limitations, and I'm just not comfortable with that. This is not a magnificent revelation. I already knew I wanted to Richter it up a little and stretch out the idea of style (Gerhard Richter is a contemporary German painter, who's work absolute denies categorization. He'll paint completely nonobjective, and he'll paint perfect realism.) So I guess what I'm saying is that this idea of not accepting limitations or parameters applies not only to my style of execution, but also to my subject matter. Perfect superflat cartoons, lucious abstraction, thick gooey impasto, gently fuzzed photo-realism...the sky is the limit.

Attached is the last "abstract" painting I did. I think I painted this is about 2005, and then touched it up in 2007. I apologize for the poor quality of the image. As you can see, he loves ice cream. He has friends, and you'll see them soon enough.

Ice Cream, 2007
Acrylic, Collage, Spray Paint on Canvas

Friday, January 1, 2010

Moving Paint

It's Winter Break and I'm in the studio. Though it scares me that my productive time is when I have absolutely nothing else to do, I am reassured that the paint, this time, is movin' like I want it to.

I remember a conversation in college between some friends and I, and we were talking about a particularly attractive girl. She was that sort of fragile and hot art chick. Anyway, the conversation ended with one friend saying, "Yeah, but she sure can move paint." I had never heard this expression used, and for all I know now, it might have been it's first use, though I doubt it. I have used it many times since then though. When I say someone can "move paint" I mean that that particular painter has taken the time and effort to understand the properties of his material.

This week I have been moving paint like crazy. It bends to my will. It follows my orders. When I exhale, and slow my pulse to the rate at which I must to paint, the paint and I sync up and we move like one organic being. It's like in Avatar. The paint and I just lock our little pony tails and we communicate.

I have a lot going right now. I have about 12 paintings on easels/my work table right now and theoretically, I will have them to post by next week. Before I can do that though, I have to paint the following things:
  • The sesame seeds and pickles on a Big Mac.
  • A wild rose.
  • Odwalla orange juice bottle.
  • A CTA pass.
  • Some blurry traffic/brake lights.
  • A doughnut.
  • Pizza.
  • A vintage chubby cupid illustration.
  • Ross & Rachel's first kiss.
  • An old school Fisher Price Little Person.
  • A one-hitter.
  • Peanut butter cookies.
  • Georgia Bulldog.
  • Popcorn.
  • A granite pillar.
  • A piece of college lined notebook paper.
  • Big green polka dots.
  • The original Smallville billboard.
That's a lot for one weekend. I'd better get back to it.