Monday, July 6, 2015

An Elephant in The Room

My Guys, In Progress, oils, 40 something by 20"

Three years ago I had the nerve to think I could do a triple portrait right out of the gate without having paid any dues.  I chose a lousy reference photo of my three sons and proceeded to fail miserably.  I didn't trash it though. I hung it on the observation wall and have been observing it ever since.  Today, I attacked it wildly when the elephant trumpeted. I flung  paint big time at the beast who has been in our room since July first. I flung paint at the painting. I danced the blues with  BB King.  And I may have broken through to what was wrong with the painting when I started?   I can't tell you how lucky I feel to have the artist gene. It's a Godsend to be able to lift yourself out and away from life's travails.

Sorry about the glare. The painting is very wet--and will get wetter yet.  This beast is the kind that doesn't slink off quietly and this is the perfect  painting to try what I have wanted to try with portraits for quite some time--probably about three years.

Meanwhile, I did a little work on the self portrait I had started for the two hour challenge, but it was too tame for me to spend any more time on it.  I was enraged.

Mug Shot. In progress and no where near this dull.


Friday, July 3, 2015

The Handiest Man Alive Lives At My House

The mirror was a one piece breeze.

The bookcase from do-it-yourselfer hell lifted up and laid out. A good start.

And it turned out the handiest man alive lives at my house!

Voila!  Seven feet of art book storage point of first use.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

'Some Assembly Required'

Total Assembly Required

Every year I try to improve my studio facilities. This year I thought I'd add a bookcase to house the art books I like to keep within easy reach--like Ralph Mayer's The Artist's Materials, Itten's The Theory of Color, etc.  I went to The Shelving Store online and purchased a three tiered bookcase I could add additional three tiered units to if my collection of must have handy books expanded. I went to Amazon to send out a full length free standing mirror for observing reverse images of my paintings and perhaps doing full body self portraits. Both items seemed like  good ideas when  I clicked 'buy.'

The 'some assembly required' bookcase arrived first.  I figured  I'm handy with a screw driver, I could screw in whatever little parts where necessary; I had done this before.  I didn't figure on having to construct the whole thing till  twelve pieces of bookcase slide out of the box along with a little box filed with assorted screws and plates and the directions suggested an electric drill with a Philips screw bit would be .good along with an extra pair of hands.

Mug shot, my 2 hour portrait challenge
that will take four hours once my knee recovers.
I called up the stairs for Ellis.

 Reluctantly he came down, took one look at the pieces spread across the floor and told me I was on my own; I should have gone to Ikea.  "Fine," said this 'Little Red Hen,' I'll do it myself!"  And I sat on the floor to get started. "How hard could it be?"

 After screwing in just two support clips, I knew this project was going to take all summer.  I didn't have the strength I used to have, the proper tool, and sitting with legs folded on the floor was killing my already finicky right knee.  I turned off the lights and hobbled over for a glass of wine and my ice pack thinking what am  I going to do when the free standing mirror comes?

I am going to call my friend's handyman and pay him whatever he wants to get me out of this do it yourself crap. I have a painting on the easel!

Coincidently, this article was published in the Detroit News the day after my awakening.  While my knee still throbbed, I could still laugh.

You could read the rest of Mr. O'Connor's article  here.