Thursday, July 31st, 2008 Archives

Working on the figure in Bombers is reflective of the fairly solitary life of a painter. I spend large amounts of time alone in the studio painting, sometimes seeing almost nobody. Yesterday I spoke to eight people all day including a visit to the local church to see my kids in a show. I feel like a hermit.

Silence and solitude are said to walk hand in hand. Silence is not necessarily the silence of sound, but can be the inner silence that comes from pure focus upon the task in hand. I recognize a contradiction in the solitary life I lead in the studio and the pleasure I gain by playing loud music when I paint. Is this reflective of satisfying an inner need for chaos, or indicative of a lack of social interaction? I suspect that it’s no accident that this hermit painting is happening now, as the summer in the studio draws toward its most peaceful period when there are no students to provide any distraction from solitude.

“If the desert is holy, it is because it is a forgotten place that allows us to remember the sacred. Perhaps that is why every pilgrimage to the desert is a pilgrimage to the self. There is no place to hide and so we are found.”
–Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place 

Bombers vii

I found my source pictures for the crucifixion dating back from 2000, when Ogre came over to visit and posed for the painting. I worked at the face for a couple of hours, getting a good layer down. It’s clearly too bright right now, so the next step will be to tone it down a little, but this can wait until this layer is dry because there are some good things here that I don’t want to wreck by attempting to continue. 

img_7341.jpg Because it’s Ogre I’m painting here I played Skinny Puppy’s “Last Rights” on the stereo, very loud. I do like to paint with loud music on. I know some painters insist that the only music that should ever be played in the studio is classical, but I like the edginess of nasty loud rock, and I do see its influence in the paintings, and I like it. I don’t want the paintings to be wishy washy, I want impact. 

Thinking about the tour of churches in Spring, I wonder if churches other that Lutheran ELCA will be interested. I’ll try the Lutheran churches first and see where it goes from there.


Crucifixion x

I spent a few hours working the white stone and the megaliths. The sky will have to wait, as I became quite tired and took an early lunch, then returned to work on the crucifixion.