Monday, June 25

A Little Art

I'm reading "One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers" by Gail Sher. Which is an inspired text on approaching writing as meditation (more or less). And it's inspiring me to make art. Indeed the book could apply just as easily to music, scholarship, and a bunch of other things. She says many things about writing and the creative process that are interesting and accurate, but above all her sheer pleasure and intimate honesty in writing are what get to me.

Meanwhile, Gordan noticed a very good sale at my favorite local art store. I now have some better brushes, brush holders, and a palette. My friend Bug explained to me that when mixing colors, the translucense or opacity of the colors will influence what kind of secondary colors will be formed. Here is a tutorial she found me on that subject, which incidentally is part of a series of tutorials on Renaissance miniature painting.

I want to get a couple of dropcloths and some new primary color paints and a good mirror for self portraits, and get to it. The dropcloths are the most essential--I can play with ink before getting the colors. With ink my desire is to simply play with techniques, see what I can glean from books, copy from other pictures, and what I can make up on my own. And how it feels to combine the brush and pen. Also I need some practice in good old representational drawing, I've gotten rusty. With the paints I simply want to do some multicolored self portraits like I used to do with pastels when I was younger.

I'm pondering the stony visage, though. I've been looking through a couple of relatively cheap books I got on Frida Kahlo, the ultimate painter of stony visages. One book relates them to ancient Mayan images. It's also usually the way I would depict faces. It evokes a certain hyperreality, I think. I'm thinking of Giacometti's tiny statues. Perhaps the stoniness expresses a slight trance state, a state of strong focus. It may also hide emotions. Recently I was looking at myself in the mirror, and wondering if I wear that kind of face myself. I'm sure it doesn't come across as stony in my case, more likely blank, or wide-eyed and dull. Regardless, it is often the expression I wear in my own perception. I'm not sure how far I want to take that spirit. Sometimes I feel more like a matured imp, and that might be a good thing to depict too.

I wrote this yesterday:

For so long I wanted an Other to interact with through art. I found it to some extent in the spirits, but they are found outside of art as well, and are more vibrant there. Other humans are absent in art & its atmosphere. They say things like "that's good" "I like that color" "who is it" and "is your painting so sad because you're depressed". That is not the kind of interaction I was looking for. Now I understand, spiritually-viscerally, that I can interact with myself through art. This is what I did as a teenager when I was alone. Later I thought I should grow beyond that, finally I realize I grow into it.

I only barely mentioned the exact thing that I was trying to say. That may be for the best. Anyway if I had a scanner I'd show you the doodle I made while testing my old paints...