Monday, February 9, 2009

Paint Paint Evolution

Art's funny. 

Not funny ha-ha, as my father would say, but funny strange.

Most of my finished pieces had a distinct end goal and a fairly good road map to get there. Sure there's some deviation along the way... that's part of the process. But most ended up pretty much as I imagined.

This little bugger, however, went way off track and I have no idea if it's a good thing or a bad thing. While it has certainly been enjoyable to work on, I'm a little perturbed because I thought I was prepping a background for a much more complex piece but my gut is giving me a cease and desist order before I've even begun working on the primary subject.

If this were a design project on my Mac, I'd confidently explore the outer reaches knowing that I can undo everything at any moment. Not so much in painting.

I think I'll put it aside, let it dry and when I'm feeling more courageous, I'll let loose with the oil and see if the subject I had in mind is worth doing. If I decide soon enough that it's not, I can always wipe it away.

Briefly on the evolution: I started with a heavy coat of cheap, white acrylic applied with a paint knife (I wanted to cover up some flaws on the canvas). Then a thin uneven coat of Yellow Ochre Light Hue. Then I threw some water at it. Dried it with a hair drier. Stenciled small, varied bird silhouettes all over the canvas with the same paint but varied densities. When dry, another thin coat, this time with Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue. (The smaller image above is a detail.)

So that's where it stands. It'll hang unsigned on my basement wall until I decide whether or not it's finished.

Opinions anyone?


Jenne said...

I've been this piece quite a bit since you posted it a couple days ago. I really like it and I've had such a strange collections of thought associations. The first is that, to me, because of the colours and the way the birds are patterned, it seems like an anti-war commentary. Like some of the stuff American feminist artists were doing to protest the war in Vietnam. Then I thought of how weird it was that i was thinking of birds like the were warplanes. Then I thought of this high-school exchange I went on in 1989, my exchange partner lived on the border of BC and the Yukon and lived on the Sekani First Nations reserve. Her grand-dad loved to draw and didn't want to draw anything but small planes and runways. And then completely separately I remembered being in Dartmouth last year with my friend Anne and had a swan fly directly over our heads. It was enormous and we could hear the shoulder/wings of the bird creaking and grinding as it took flight. Anyway, long story short I really like the piece.

John Andrews said...

thanks jenne... glad you like it. i'm still torn but i think it will ultimately be a backdrop for something else. i'm going to work on some other projects for a while and let it sit on the back burner.

Da Wife said...

I think it looks like a flock of birds in the distance - was that the idea?

John Andrews said...

yes, i was originally thinking about continuing the paint knife bird series with this one... i think i still might.


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