I have been working on this painting over a year. Some paintings can take me 3 weeks. Go Figure! Everyday I work on it feel just as exciting when I started. There have been two related developments fairly recent: I fully developed my color theory and I have changed the technical/subject theme on her. The general theme of this painting is taken from Rembrandt’s Danae in which Zeus visits her as golden light, Rembrandt was inspired by and changed the concept from the myth of Zeus visiting Danae in a shower of gold coins. I realized I could tweak that even further and paint her, not as the reflection of Zeus’ light, but as the source of the golden light. Making her shine as if the light is within her. Hahah, blows me away what a great riff that is on this legend, now only to paint her that way. No problem, it only takes time.
But a lot of color is crazy difficult especially for forms, light, and details. Hence, the ink drawing helps remind me of how to shape the information.
Creating art seems 50% subconscious and 50% technical knowledge. The subconscious part is the flow of energy through the network of my thoughts, emotions, and spine-tingling feelings. It lets me know if things are dull, exciting, or perfect, and it often makes me smack the hell out of the painting when I terribly stuck. And then the other 50% the technical side cleans up the mess. Which is also very exciting because when all the garbage is cleared away all I then see is the beauty of it all.
The joyful sublime as a subject has to be the most difficult thing to bring to life in art. It doesn’t allow mess-ups, and it doesn’t allow to be careful and safe. It is ruthless in an subconscious and technical way. It is exhilarating to have the honor to attempt it.
Michael Newberry, Idyllwild, 1/29/2021
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