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Monday, March 21, 2011

Wild Side Attacks


My painting process is not my systematic design process or what used to be my sculpting, albeit construction, process. I wish it was. I'd like to start painting with a solid plan, lay in the light, the medium and dark areas and proceed in a nice systematic fashion to the finish with the addition of highlights--a nice orderly approach. But no. Put a brush in my hand and intuition takes over. Emotion spills over. My approach to painting alternates between calm and frenzied, tight and loose, but always drawing and correcting as I go. The paint applications are what one instructor years ago called "Painterly." he was being nice, I thought. I call the process loose and messy. And it drives me crazy when it happens.

Fall Woods is still dripping wet from the rough shower it got yesterday--plus the exfoliating scrub. That's why the surface is glistening. I didn't want to stand around waiting for it to dry. I wanted to get the photo and get out of there. The session had been a frenzied one--and those make me nervous.

I thought the painting, on the right, had gotten too tight, too storybook, so I loosely lashed out. Then worried I had gone over the edge, so I stuck it under the faucet and scrubbed off the assault. Some of it went down the drain. Some of it stuck. What stuck didn't look all that bad. Before turning off the lights, I hit the canvas while it was still wet. I emphasized the darks and the lights. Then left it to drip dry.

This was not the first time I've done this. This seems to be how my intuitive process goes-- alternating calm--frenzy--calm, gradually building up layers of solid color over transparent washes over solid color and so on. Tight control alternating with wild gesture, ending with a tad of tight control. Totally foreign to the designing me. Very unsettling. Is this a common way to work?
I would feel so much better if I knew it was. Then I could just think, "Hey here comes my wild side. Go with the flow. Relax, enjoy the ride." Instead of chastising myself for losing control.

And where did we go after this? The museum to see the Fakes, Forgeries and Mysteries Exhibit that contained a lot of tightly, neatly painted, expertly blended church paintings, etchings and sculptures-- EXCEPT for the two Which-is-the-Van-Gogh/Which-is-the-forgery painting? The one I guessed to be the Van Gogh definitely had a wild side approach that made me feel much better about my morning. I do love the museum. Looking at art soothes my soul. Making it? Well....some days are torturous.


  1. we may have a forged Dali litho... the gallery we bought it from has posted that piece of news years ago..had the day from hell yesterday.. had to call fire dept. to have them unclog my flooded byard...what a pain....gotta get someone in to snake the drains and see if a tree needs to get*t ..what a way to start mon.

  2. So sorry. House maintenance is a drag down of the spirits. I have a Dali Etching--but the Gallery was very reputable and the date on it is prior to when Dali was involved in the huge print scandal.
    Listen if the museums can get stuck with forgeries and copies, anybody can. The art business since the get go is no different than any other. The objective is to make money. It's as logical that there would be disreputable artists and dealers in 1658 as there are now. I was sorry I missed the lecture on the exhibit. I'm going to read the manuscript this PM. May blog on it if juicy?

  3. copy we have is 927/1000.. its a litho which reminds me of Rapunzel.. princess in the tower of a castle and the prince (dali) on the ground... w/his infamous insignia... when we found out, it kinda made it more valuable to me or rather it being scandalous if that's the right word... the signature looks like it was done in pencil... is that normal for Dali? I think not. lol

  4. You are successful because you are not confined to one modality of being. Would that we could all access various parts of ourselves. It's a shame that because of our cultural indoctrination, we wonder if we are 'normal' if we have a wild, crazy, creative side.

  5. Thank you Bonnie. Looking over the body of work I've produced since I started this blog, this pursuit of mine to find my artistic voice, what I have discovered is what I knew: I am not confined at all. I seem to be wide open to whatever process will satisfy my current state of being. Now how serious is that? I really do like to just play at art. And it's a damn good thing, I decided not to pursue fine art as a career.

  6. Chrissy, ours is # 16 of 20 and authenticated by the gallery and dated 1967. You should look up exactly when Dali was fraudulent and didn't destroy the plates.