Friday, September 27, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Vince II part 3

Soundtrack to tonight's studio session: Simon and Garfunkel Concert In Central Park...

In northern New Jersey along the New Jersey Turnpike, somewhere near the Meadowlands Sports Complex is a rest area called the Vince Lombardi Rest Area, named after the famous NFL coach, after whom the NFL Super Bowl champion trophy is named. Lombardi is mostly known for his time spent as the head coach for the Green Bay Packers, but he is also remembered as one of the early masterminds of the New York Giants, who play in the nearby sports complex.

At the tail end of one of my Meadowlands photo shoots, I decided to stop at the Lombardi rest area to try and finish up my last roll of film. There is a photo which will become a painting I'm planning to call Behind Vince Lombardi. The painting below is being made from a photo which was one of the last frames on the roll, when I was really just snapping off frames to end the roll.

I wanted to call it Two Sticks, but that just felt kind of trite and stupid. The two branches sticking up also form a letter "V", which makes the case for the new title, Vince II. I've only sat with it now 3 times, so things can change. It's still being molded into the image I think it can be, so be patient...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I'm Unapologetic About How Bad This Looks

I've never been squeamish about showing work in progress. I truly understand that first impressions from viewers are completely misguided, simply because what they're seeing is incomplete. I can say with utmost confidence that I will work out all parts of this image to a logical and satisfying conclusion. What seems like a bad attempt at imitating a Sunday painter is really just the foundation for something inspirational.

A painting for the artist is all about seeing. When you begin building layers, levels, colors, and shapes, you begin to see the picture coming to life, as it slowly emerges from the empty canvas. You fall into it and out of it, you begin to live inside of it and grow with it. But it has to start somewhere, and what you see below is the start for this particular piece. I'm carving a space out of a blank white rectangle, and beginning a journey through the next several weeks of my life, and I invite anyone reading this to come along.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

And I Thought This Project Was Dead

Its been too long since I've posted on a regular basis. I was on a run where I was posting 3 or 4 nights a week. I stopped because I was working on a project for someone, and was not at liberty to share the progress of the work like I had done with past paintings.

Painting has become a necessary part of my income, and I predict changes. Not changes for good or bad, but changes akin to the path cut by a meandering stream. Painting has a new sense of purpose for me, and the effect on my work will be noticeable. This is not something to fret over, but rather something to embrace as a new chapter begins in my life.

Because of timing being what it is and because of what I'll call "budget restraints," I'm forced to go back into my photo library and grab images from 2009 and 2010. It looks like this Meadowlands project is back in a weird way, not as a continued exploration, but backtracking into previously overlooked images that I feel will make great paintings.

New ideas and new projects will have to be shelved for now. There was an opportunity for a possible new project along the southern Delaware Bay shore in New Jersey, but my subject matter is scheduled to meet up with the wrecking ball in the next few weeks. I had thoughts about exploring South Kearny, an area that is pretty much dominated by roads and truck depots, but being 2 hrs away and requiring film, etc, I'm afraid that will be pinched out of this month's budget.

The 3 photos below will be the next 3 paintings. The first 2 are from January 2009 taken from behind the Vince Lombardi Service Area on the New Jersey Turnpike, and was the tail end of my first attempt at a proper photo study of the Meadowlands. The next one is from January 2010 and was taken along the Hackensack River behind Snake Hill. On that trip I had slightly more focus and better planning, which resulted in some pretty spectacular photos.

In my head the paintings are already finished. That's not such a dangerous statement to make, considering that I almost always feel that way when beginning a painting, and considering that the tendency during a painting's natural evolutionary journey is for it to look absolutely nothing like what I originally pictured. I've learned to not only accept this but to enjoy the ride into the unpredictable.

Soak these in, because months from now I will post 3 paintings that may or may not resemble what you see here.

Monday, September 9, 2013

An Audience Of One

How do I price my work? I'm often asked that. It's hard to say. Demand is a key factor in setting a price. The better the reaction, the more people like a piece, the more I think I can get for it. Time is also a factor. The longer something sits around, the more likely I am to letting it go for a steal.

The two most ambiguous factors are how long a piece takes to create, and the scope, or the how complicated a painting is. Both of these are hard to gauge, impossible to predict, subjective in their value, and vague in their quantifiability. When questioned about pricing, however, most people automatically assume that how hard a painting is and how much time is spent on its creation is a logical metric to determine its cost. Time equals money, right?

I started this painting in June of this year, finished it a few days ago. The person for whom I painted it will be picking it up tomorrow. Whether or not its worth the price we agreed upon is up to him, I suppose. The value of this work lies somewhere between him and I.

Across The Void, 30" x 48", oil on canvas, 2013