New pics of my studio in Idyllwild. Happy to find the balance between order and chaos for my mountain high sanctuary. This week I opened up everything instead of trying to control the natural light or privacy. Interestingly enough the two 85 watt special lights that shine 5,500 k, as bright as overcast daylight, enabled great conditions to paint by —- I don’t have to worry about the direct light coming down from the skylight or windows.
I like the temporary feeling of fleeting moments and sense of continuous flowing impressions. I don’t know if I am ready for a life-size painting. It could be very cool to a lovers painting in this way, shifting the subject of the painting to the feeling not the reality. Think about the times you have made genuine love, do you recall the pornographic details or the currents of movement triggering all your senses, one wave after another? I think this approach would be idea for that. We will see the more I put it through my psychological grinder–any of those mental voices have veto rights.
Though he was a silly old cynic he knew how to play devil’s advocate and he didn’t mind throwing away any talent he might have had. His Nude Descending a Staircase has its interest, Duchamp took the concept of overlapping sketches and turned them into a painting. Hardly original because that honor would go the Chauvet Cave painters. He was honored because he threw everything away so he could disintegrate in to crustiness. A dream the disgruntled have at their most disgusting low points and which normal people watch in morbid curiosity. The 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship Awards for “Fine Artists” would be a tribute to Duchamp except the judges, referrers, and artists have no self-awareness. If they did they would not inflict their anti-humanism on the public.
Today in writing the sixth chapter of my book Evolution Through Art, the section on the great Egyptian sculptor Thutmose, circa 1350 BC, I was struck by the similarities of this sculpture of Tutankhamen’s grandfather, Amenhotep III and the famous Gold Mask of Tutankhamen. But I am wondering if the portrait study is not Amenhotep III but a life study of Tutankhamen?
Today’s Update: Model in Studio, I made a naughty schoolboy prank and a very bad Easter pun on a different meaning of risen. I cleaned up the upper left quadrant of the composition removing all the shapes that did not accent the symbolic verticals. Now they compete better for attention. I think that makes her even happier, the model said “yes.” Actually it took discipline to keep working the background until it worked for me, but there is no finer feeling for an artist to get that internal greenlighting saying “it’s working!” Hope this lightens your day.
Years ago a grandchild of a friend and student of mine died. The little girl wasn’t born right and was not destined to live past childhood. At that time Mary wanted to do a special project based on the little girl’s passing. I recall the concept started with a soft cloth with lace embroidery, and quickly a flower, an iris, was added. Mary drew 20 or so thumbnail sketches, tweaking each composition until she found the one that pleased her most.
Progressing on my book Evolution Through Art, past the 10k in words, now in the middle of the 5th chapter, The Wizards. Here is a snippet:
For the artists that didn’t turn away they would have to cope with, defend, and manage resentment. For their art they would breath deep, fortify themselves, and let go of certainty and control and dive into a vast alternative universe; exploring where no mind had gone before.
Using color theory of cool shadows and warm highlights, I corrected this student’s painting. The student got stills with instructions of the steps, here it is simply a time-lapse. Shadows and distance are often either cool or warm, cool shadows imply a cool background. It works. I did about 12 steps, cooling up the background and shadows. For example, on the lips, I changed the blood-red shadows to violet, red+blue=violet. Then I softened the edges where there was a strong line between shadows and highlights, they always need a middle tone dividing them. Then I finished with the light using a light peach, light orange or peach is the opposite of blue — Warm light, cool shadows. I hope this is useful to you.