Sunday, November 19, 2006

Small Works Show & Helioderm

You might want to skip over my rambling and go straight down the the pictures. I won't know if you do.

Where does it come from? I think that everything in the universe rolls around on giant wobbly wheel called time. There’s something about the crisscrossing pattern of all those unpredictable waves of tire tracks that cause a buildup of greater and greater complexity.

No, that analogy is too simplistic. There are likely 9 to 12 dimensions you have to include to have an appropriate matrix. That illustrates why it’s so difficult to predict what will happen next. Still, you can see a growth of overlaying interactions that generate new and increasingly intricate forms from the big bang up until the present.

We humans, as part of the universe, create new patterns every second of the day because of our varied interactions. We are the most complicated of creatures with our cultures, societies, arts and political systems. Sometimes we think we know the exact direction we’re going in but don’t be fooled, you’re not really in control so it’s best to see all the surprises as opportunities and see where they’ll lead you.

What the hell am I talking about? A week ago I didn’t know I’d do this painting. It didn’t have any life at all. Friends made it happen. I had to do a brand new painting for a miniature show scheduled for December at the Art Corner Gallery (click on the link above) in Salem, MA. All my smaller paintings are in a show at the Center for the Arts in Homer, New York. A million little ideas went through my head: what shall I paint, what shall I paint? I’ll decided to do something cute but weird. Then I remembered the drawings I posted here on my blog and that people liked them. Scroll down to “Silly Stuff” if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Here’s a step by step in three little steps. This painting is 8X14” and it was done in oils.

I did this first texture layer with watered down acrylics using a rag and dabbing. Sadly much of this was obscured in the painting process. I’d hoped to see more showing through but if you saw the original you’d see more than you can see here. It was actually done over a year ago and was waiting for me to decide what I’d paint on it. I put down a thin layer of drying linseed oil and I began painting (below).

I study and photograph clouds all the time. They fascinate me because they are governed by simple principles, yet they make large convoluted things of tremendous beauty. One day I hope to write an elegant algorithm to explain it. It’s likely a vain hope but till then I can still admire and ponder them. This sky came from observation and many pictures I’ve taken. It went in quickly (below).

While the sky was still wet I painted in my helioderm – a creature of my own invention. I had put some alkyd white on my pallet so it would dry some and get gooey. That’s what I used for my ‘heavy’ whites that I used in the rim lighting. I didn’t add the birds till the next day when I also lightened the sky some. It actually looks darker here. I don’t know why (below).

Here’s a close-up of the face. It took a few tries to get the exact level of cuteness I wanted. I’ve worked out in my mind the internal anatomy of this creature but I’ll save that explanation for another day. If all goes well I’ll do and post more helioderms.



Blogger Emphyrio said...

Very pretty, rather whimsical. Patrick Woodruffe with classic technique.

Paul C.

11:08 PM  
Blogger Scott Altmann said...

Fantastic in every way -

6:58 PM  
Blogger Mark Reep said...

Love it. Great composition, light, sense of scale- And the Helioderm is just so cool. Both endearing and impressive. Hope all does indeed go well and a series ensues. Wondering what the term might be for a number of Helioderms? 'Flock' doesn't seem nearly substantial enough :)

10:01 AM  
Blogger Marianne said...

A 'fleet' of Helioderms? Or a 'flight' of Helioderms? If I say a 'pack' of Helioderms, I know I'm gonna get smacked...Hi Tom! :-D


4:33 PM  
Blogger Ryan Wood said...

Holy cow, those are some fantastic colors!

3:38 PM  

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