Friday, March 30, 2007

Coffee and the Beatles

This painting is entitled, "Coffee and the Beatles" and records my calm afternoon experience listening to the Beatles' album, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and drinking coffee in my favorite mug adorned with Monet's painting of Venice which used primarily blues and oranges and from which I hearkened my inspiration.

Although the inspiration for this piece came primarily from that afternoon, I worked through the painting as a way of manipulating paint as a form and blending hues of blue to eventually focus the purpose of the painting on the orange in the bottom right corner. I used a palette knife for all the textural build up, and a fan brush to create the circles, arbitrarily but evenly distributed throughout. This painting also brought into play the use of sawdust and wood chips as a second medium mixed with the paint to create a more tangible texture.

I consider this piece so far, the most successful of the semester and use it as a center point from which to fan out and explore other relationships of texture and color; all the while still relating to my personal self in the process of painting.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Separation Anxiety

One day, I was feeling extremely nostalgic about my time here at UD, as it has been 4 amazing years devoted to studies and developing strong relationships with my friends. I considered what my feelings were and realized that I had layers of emotions cradled in the arms of nostalgia, and unfortunately pressured by separation anxiety. I began working on a painting, and the first one to come out of this understanding of my emotions was the deep blue-purple piece directly above. I was actually working backwards; these paintings represent the stages of that separation anxiety and the first painting was the last stage of how I would feel --- that of a tranquil acceptance of the changes occurred.

The next painting I engaged in starts from the initial reaction to the realization of separation anxiety (middle red painting). In thie regard, I considered my pain of leaving the UD environment as my life had indeed revolved so much around it. I brought myself to a deeper self-awareness of how my physiology would be affected by separation anxiety and I realized that I would be short of breath, flushed feeling, and literally feeling "cut-off" from the environment. I say "cut-off" because when you realize that you will not be seeing these same people, or doing these things you are accustomed to, the heartfelt bonds feel severed and there creeps into your soul a seemingly irreparable vacuity. Therefore, I created this painting with textured paint (oil paint mixed with wood chips and sawdust), and primarily used my palette knife to create the chopped-up texture. I also tried blending several shades of red to indicate the varying degrees of my emotions and to add some depth to the composition.

The painting I next completed (and last of the series!), is one about memories. I did this painting with my fingers, (don't do it with your fingers unless you have skin barrier cream or gloves on!) as I wanted to actually be in the painting throughout the process. Process is critical for me, as it is in that realm of creating that I understand why I am painting this painting and who I am as a person that is painting this piece. Therefore, the texture and strokes in the paint are created completely from my fingers. The multitude of colors reflects all my memories from UD reoccurring all at once in my mind as I realize that nostalgia cloaked in separation anxiety forces all the emotions out at once, colliding and careening all over the canvas.

Hence, the order in which the pieces will be displayed is "Separation Anxiety: Initial Pain", "Separation Anxiety: Memories", and "Separation Anxiety: Tranquil Acceptance".

Friday, March 23, 2007

"Remembering the Feeling of the Earth"

Occasionally I let my head get too high in the clouds and I need to create something that is more "down to earth" so to speak, and this piece came out of that thought. It's like floating back down to earth and remember the colors that are of the earth, with greens, dark yellows, reds, and browns and how they intermingle.

"History Repeats Itself" -- the full image

This is simply the full-size image from the previous post.

"History Repeats Itself"

These are all close-up images from a painting I recently did in response to visiting the Holocaust Museum here in Dallas. The painting is titled, "History Repeats Itself", as I realized that even though the human race vowed never again to allow such genocide or hatred to happen again, it is indeed still happening, especially in Darfur. The colors represent blood, sadness, despair, and textures throughout the piece indicate painful emotions from such events.

Fall Semester Tribulations

I painted these three pieces last semester in a search for some transcendental truth about art and how I believe my art should portray itself. They all seem to have a central source of light that I wanted to pull the viewer into the painting. However, it seemed fruitless as I had several problems with form, light, and direction of the content. The piece on the far right is unresolved, and remains to be so as I could never come to a clear breakthrough in this painting's "truth". Also, all three paintings are large, hovering around the range of 3-5 feet in length, and 2-3 feet in heighth. These paintings took too long to do, and did not produce the end result I felt justified my original ideas for soul-searching through art. Therefore, I moved to smaller and more efficient-sized paintings that seem to have proved their worth in my search through art.